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World Wrestling Entertainment RAW - 2005


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WWE re-shuffles RAW booking team, more…

As of February 1st, just two days after the Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View, the WWE has announced a shake-up to the booking and writing team responsible for the RAW side of the brand extension. Brian Gerwitz, until now the brand’s head writer, has been demoted from this prominent position on the Creative team, and has been replaced by what will essentially work as a coalition between three men - Ed Schmitt, Thomas Coors, and Mark Jackson. Whilst Coors is relatively new to the WWE, having only been hired last June, Schmitt and Jackson are both experienced within the company, and their promotion seems to be a reward for the stellar work the two have put in over their tenures in the Creative team.

Thomas Coors has been hired exclusively as a writer, whilst Schmitt has made it clear internally that he is more interested in writing than booking, which is likely to leave Mark Jackson as the new head booker of the RAW brand. With the road to WrestleMania XX already underway, and several big storylines already in progress on the RAW brand, it will be interesting to see where the three new men take the brand.

-- Credit: www.grapplefanatics.com

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WWE RAW

7/2/05

Location: Saitama, Japan

Announcers: Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler

The broadcast begins with some highlights from the Royal Rumble, showing Triple H defeating Randy Orton to win the World Heavyweight title, Edge’s strong double-showing at the event, and Batista winning the Rumble match itself. From there, we see more clips of what went down at last week’s RAW, featuring the unease between Batista and Triple H, the signing of Edge’s title match, and the tag team main event that saw Randy Orton heavily concussed. With the recaps finished, we go over to the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, for the first-ever edition of RAW to emanate from the Land of the Rising Sun! Tonight’s pyrotechnics are even more elaborate than usual, and the packed-out crowd of 7,544 are on their feet as we go over to Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler for the introductions…

Jim Ross: Konichiwa, ladies and gentlemen, from the historic Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan! This arena has seen some historic bouts in its time, ladies and gentlemen, and some truly memorable nights, and tonight will be no exception for the first RAW to come from the Land of the Rising Sun!

Jerry Lawler: Was that Japanese you just spoke, JR?

Jim Ross: It was indeed, King - when in Rome!

Jerry Lawler: But we’re in Japan…

Jim Ross: Forget it. Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got some huge matches - in fact, we’ve received the final card from General Manager Eric Bischoff, and to commemorate this historic night every RAW-owned title will be on the line tonight! We’ve got our huge main event, Triple H defending against the hungry challenger Edge, along with tag team action as La Resistance defend their titles against William Regal and Tajiri, whilst Shelton Benjamin’s ‘open contract offer’ has been taken up this week by Gene Snitzky, and Trish Stratus defends the Women’s title against Victoria!

Jerry Lawler: Don’t forget the two other matches on our show tonight, JR! Kane and Shawn Michaels meet in singles competition, not to mention the massive submission match!

Jim Ross: Oh, I haven’t forgotten, King - Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho, two of the most technically-sound athletes in the world today, and no strangers to Japan I might add, meet in a submission-only match, and you’d better believe that one will be a slobberknocker, folks!

-- FALLING INTO PLACE…

The introductions complete, we switch over to the back now, to the Evolution locker room, which is well-furnished and reeking of expensive taste as usual. Ric Flair is sitting on the expansive leather couch, eating grapes and watching the broadcast, whilst Batista is pacing nervously…

Ric Flair: Will ya sit down?

Batista: I don’t want to sit down.

Ric Flair: Fine, fine, suit yourself. Just don’t run yourself out, this is a big night.

Before Batista can answer, the door opens and Triple H walks in with his bags, led by a Japanese woman wearing something of a geisha girl outfit…

Geisha Girl: Konichiwa, Triple H-san.

Triple H: Yeah, yeah. Thanks for helpin’ me find the room.

The woman leaves, and Hunter dumps his bag on the table before sitting next to Flair, helping himself to some grapes. After a few moments, he looks over at the still-pacing Batista with an irritated look…

Triple H: Are ya gonna be doin’ that all night?

Batista: I’m nervous, OK? Cut it out.

Triple H: Will ya chill out? Everything’s fallin’ into place, this is our time now. Orton ain’t here tonight, he’s back in the States with an ice pack clutched to his head, I’m gonna send Edge packin’ tonight… and when you wipe that smirk offa J.B.L.’s face, and win the WWE title, the whole of the WWE is gonna be ruled by Evolution… this is just perfect, what d’you have to be nervous about?

Batista: I haven’t made my decision, okay? It’s a tough choice.

Triple H: Whaddaya mean, it’s a tough choice? You ain’t thinkin’ about fightin’ me, are ya?

Before Batista can answer, however, Flair interjects by standing up and placing himself in between them…

Ric Flair: Enough’o this, you two! Champ, you’ve got a big match tonight, why don’t ya get ready? And Dave… if you’re that nervous, go get yourself somethin’ to drink or whatever, and calm yourself down.

Batista nods, and exits the locker room. Triple H watches him go, with an uneasy look on his face, before turning back to Flair. The Nature Boy shrugs, and before we can hear any more of their conversation, the cameras switch back to ringside.

(Segment quality 77%)

(Triple H lost 2 points of overness from this segment)

Jim Ross: All’s not rosy in the Evolution camp, King!

Jerry Lawler: Will you cut it out? You’re seeing problems where there are none! Batista’s just nervous because he’s never been to Japan before, JR - you know what it’s like, being in a strange new country where you don’t know the language? It’s got to be a little weird!

Jim Ross: And this wouldn’t have anything to do with him maybe wanting a shot at Triple H?

Jerry Lawler: I told you to stop, didn’t I? Why would he want to face Triple H when he can beat J.B.L. and have the whole WWE ruled by Evolution? It doesn’t make sense!

-- THIS DEFINITELY ISN’T KENJO

“Whoa! It’s time to rock and roll!”

Trish Stratus’ music plays now, and the WWE Women’s champion heads out to the ring, arm-in-arm with her boyfriend Christian, to boos from our Japanese audience. The two share a sickening embrace on the ramp, totally uncaring that millions have to watch their kissing, and then stroll down into the ring, where they share another kiss. Victoria’s music replaces Trish’s, now, and she heads down to the ring as well, unaccompanied this evening. As Christian rolls to the outside, the two women square off to begin our opener.

Trish Stratus © vs. Victoria - WWE Women’s title

Trish starts out well early on with a bitch-slap to her opponent’s face, showing a total lack of respect, following up with a hair-pull toss and a clothesline to take Victoria down. Straddling her on the mat now, Trish follows up with some punches and begins to pound Victoria’s head again and again on the mat, earning her a telling off from the official. Victoria uses the distraction to come from behind with a face crusher, and begins to assert her dominance with some fiery suplexes, slaps of her own, and even a bulldog much like Trish’s own signature move! After this one, Victoria sets her opponent up as if for the Widow’s Peak, but Trish somehow escapes and rolls to the outside. She runs to Christian, seemingly for comfort having almost been planted, and then rolls back into the ring, knocking Victoria down with a high forearm to the face. As she makes the cover, however, we see her kick something back out to Christian - the Women’s title belt! Trish gets the 1-2-3 at 4:01 to retain the title, thanks to her boyfriend and the title. ½*

After the match, Christian enters the ring to celebrate with Trish, but she doesn’t seem to be finished with Victoria. She begins to rain down stomps and slaps on her defeated opponent, even getting Christian to hold her up for some slaps and punches! As Christian does this, however, a figure comes hurtling down the ramp - it’s Steven Richards! Richards dives into the ring, shoving Christian down to release Victoria, and sends both Christian and Trish Stratus running from the ring. Christian stares daggers at Richards from the outside, while Steven throws a few choice comments his way and checks on Victoria.

(Match Quality 56%, Crowd Reaction 81%, Overall Rating 73%)

(Steven Richards debuted his new ‘Old School Face’ gimmick, it got a positive response)

(The WWE Women’s title has gained image)

Jerry Lawler: What the Hell was that about? Why did Steven Richards get involved?

Jim Ross: What do you mean, why?

Jerry Lawler: I mean why, JR! What for, how come, wherefore?

Jim Ross: Because of that sickening display by Trish Stratus and Christian! What kind of man goes around doing that to a woman, King?

Jerry Lawler: This is the twenty-first century, JR, didn’t you know? Everybody’s equal these days, it’s all about the sisterhood being on the same level as men!

Jim Ross: Well, if that’s what that means, King, I’ll be old-fashioned and out-of-date, thankyou very much! We’ll be right back, people.

---Commercial Break---

-- BACK TO WINNING WAYS?

“Ain’t no stoppin’ me, no!”

His music playing around the arena as we return, Shelton Benjamin heads down to the ring, the WWE Intercontinental title around his waist. JR and King remind us of his wish to be a fighting champion, and of Gene Snitzky’s acceptance of his open challenge contract, speculating that Snitzky wants to return to winning ways after his loss last week to Kane. Benjamin steps into the ring and hands his title to the referee, before Snitzky’s music plays and the monster storms out to the ring, looking both very determined and very angry at the same time. Benjamin is unfazed, however, and offers a lock-up to Snitzky as the bell rings.

Shelton Benjamin © vs. Gene Snitzky - WWE Intercontinental title

Snitzky looks at Benjamin’s outstretched hands, signalling for a lock-up, as if they are alien artefacts, and instead opts to boot the Intercontinental champion hard in the stomach, sending him folding over like a paper tissue. Snitzky follows up with a few hard clubs across the back, and a spiked DDT for a 2-count. The monster begins to dominate Shelton in the opening moments now, using several hard strikes, boots, and hard-hitting grappling moves to wear the young all-American down and keep the advantage firmly out of his reach. After a telegraphed clothesline sails over his head, however, Benjamin fires back with a super kick and a few wild right hands, finally getting his lock-up and applying a ferocious hammerlock. From the hammerlock, Benjamin manages to switch into a wristlock and ground Snitzky, switching to an armbar and then a shortarm scissor hold, keeping the pressure firmly on the arm with some good technical wrestling here. Letting the monster back up to his feet, Shelton applies an arm wrench and drags him over to the turnbuckle, jumping up to the top and attempting a ropewalk, but Snitzky yanks him down into a huge clothesline! Making the cover, Snitzky gets 2, and quickly follows this with a powerful sidewalk slam, getting another 2-count. He fires a warning glance at the referee now, and attempts a third pinfall, again only getting a 2. Angry now, Snitzky begins to get into the referee’s face, and eventually heads to the outside, seizing the ring bell from the timekeeper. Despite the official’s pleas, in full view, Snitzky lines up and levels Shelton Benjamin with a furious thud, covering him and getting what would have been a 3-count, had the bell for the disqualification not gone 3 seconds earlier at 8:55. **½

With the bell ringing and his pinfall attempt notwithstanding, Snitzky jumps back up to his feet, yelling to the referee that he should have counted faster before, and that the DQ is his own fault. Stammering, the referee backs way, eventually backing up into the ropes with nowhere to run! Still clearly infuriated, perhaps by the referee or perhaps by his own lack of self-control, Snitzky blasts the referee with a sucker punch, knocking him out flat on the floor! With Shelton Benjamin struggling to his knees, Snitzky storms off, his appetite for destruction seemingly quenched for now.

(Match Quality 78%, Crowd Reaction 70%, Overall Rating 74%)

---Commercial Break---

Jim Ross: We’re back, folks, and before the break we saw what I wholeheartedly believe is an unhinged Gene Snitzky taking out his frustrations on Shelton Benjamin and a WWE official, simply because he couldn’t get the win against the Intercontinental champion.

Jerry Lawler: You and I both know that count was slow, JR.

Jim Ross: We do? Well, it’s news to me, King.

Jerry Lawler: Have you ever wrestled a match, JR? Ever? I have, and I know what a 3-count looks like, and that was a 3-count! Gene Snitzky was screwed over, and when he tries to use an equaliser against the cheating that is going on against him, he’s disqualified! You tell me where the justice is, JR!

-- A LITTLE PREOCCUPIED?

JR cannot retort, however, as the cameras now switch to the backstage area, where interviewer Todd Grisham is standing by with the challenger for the World Heavyweight title, Edge. The Edgester is wearing his usual black trench coat over purple wrestling tights, along with his usual black shades…

Todd Grisham: Edge, we’re a little over an hour away from your shot at the World Heavyweight title… emotions have got to be running high in everybody’s camp. How are you feeling?

Edge: How am I feeling? Oh, I’m just peachy, Todd, just peachy. This is my first one-on-one for the World’s Heavyweight title… can you imagine that? Me? First title shot? It doesn’t even bear thinking about, and why? Because I’ve been too busy casting my gaze elsewhere when I should have been focused, one hundred per cent, on the World’s champion and the title. No more. I’m focused, Todd, I’ve never been more focused, and tonight I’m going to give Triple H a little Edgecation, and walk out with the title.

Todd Grisham: What about Shawn Michaels? Your rivalry doesn’t seem to have been dampened by your encounter at the Royal Rumble, and we know he is in Saitama tonight because he’s facing Kane a little later on.

Edge: Michaels? I don’t sweat Michaels, Todd, and let me make one thing very clear to you…

Edge snatches the microphone now, and grabs the lens of the camera, pointing it directly at his face. Staring the camera down now with a manic glint in his eye, Edge continues…

Edge: If you think you’ve had bad times in your life up until now, Shawn, you’re wrong. Interfere in my match tonight, cost me the shot that I have so sorely deserved for year after year, and I’ll make your life a living Hell… even that God you prance around claiming to have faith in won’t be able to save you. I’ll make falling from Hell in a Cell look like tripping over, Shawn, I’ll make every fall you’ve taken over the years look like child’s play… being locked in a Casket won’t mean anything to you once I’m done with you, Shawn… I will put you out, do you understand? I’ll make it so, back surgery or no back surgery, you never set foot in a wrestling ring again, and that is a promise. Now if you’ll excuse me, Todd, I’ve got a World’s title match to prepare for.

Edge walks off now, tossing the microphone back to Todd Grisham. The interviewer looks at the camera and gives a little shrug as we return to ringside.

(Segment quality 92%)

(Edge gained 1 point of overness from this segment)

Jim Ross: Edge, for all of his talk of focus, might be a little preoccupied, King?

Jerry Lawler: Can you blame him? That devious Shawn Michaels is lurking around backstage, just waiting to pounce! If I were Edge, I’d be on tenterhooks, I can’t believe he’s so together!

Jim Ross: That’s together?

Jerry Lawler: Yes! It’s just like Shawn Michaels to do this - putting Edge on the, uh, edge like this, so he’ll lose the title match with Triple H, which then allows Shawn Michaels to step in and win the title! And do you know why he’s doing this, JR?

Jim Ross: I’m just dying to…

Jerry Lawler: Because the HBK knows that he can’t beat Edge, that’s why!

-- SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR…

La Resistance’s music plays now, and the World Tag Team champions walk out to the ring, waving their tricoleur flags and pointing arrogantly to their title belts. The boos of the fans don’t seem to deter the French, who continue their stroll down to the ring. As they enter the squared circle, they hand their belts over to the official, and lay the flags down on the outside, before disrobing and tossing those to the referee as well, along with their berets. William Regal’s music plays now, and the Blackpool native heads out from behind the curtain, along with Tajiri, who gets a huge reaction from the Japanese crowd. The duo talk tactics on the way down to the ring, and then slide under the bottom rope at the bell sounds.

La Resistance © vs. William Regal/Tajiri - World Tag Team titles

All four men duke it out in the opening moments of the match, with Regal and Tajiri quickly overpowering the French thanks to Regal’s southpaw punches and the Japanese Buzzsaw’s unique brand of martial arts kicks. Conway fights back at Regal with a lowblow knee, and quickly tosses him to the outside, following out onto the apron to leave Grenier and Tajiri the legal men. Tajiri keeps up with his martial arts, punching and kicking Grenier into the turnbuckle and chopping away at him, before Grenier nails a furious punch to send Tajiri reeling, followed by an arm drag and a spinning vertical suplex. The World Tag Team champions keep the pressure zoned in on Tajiri now, quickly isolating him in their half of the ring and keeping themselves fresh with numerous tags, all whilst preventing Tajiri from reaching William Regal. Eventually, Tajiri fights back with a thunderous karate kick to Conway and a heel kick to Grenier, forcing the French to play the ‘cheating’ card. Regal, clearly frustrated at being taken out of the equation, makes a beeline for Grenier now, and a big left-handed punch knocks him to the outside. Returning to the apron, Regal makes the tag, and comes in hot to take Conway down with some European uppercuts, quickly applying a headlock and then a scissor sleeper hold. Conway fights out, however, and gets back to his feet. The two men charge at each other, colliding in the middle of the ring and going down! Both competitors start to crawl towards their corners now, but Regal is noticeably quicker and reaches Tajiri easily, allowing the Buzzsaw to prevent Conway from tagging out. He hits a beautiful spinning DDT, before signalling for the Buzzsaw Kick. As he does, however, Grenier tosses something to Conway, who catches it and straightens up - tossing some powder into Tajiri’s face! The referee somehow misses this, and only catches Conway pulling Tajiri into a small package for the 1-2-3 at 11:00! **¼

After the bell has rung, William Regal immediately enters the ring, furious, and blasts Conway across the face with another vicious left-handed punch! Grenier rushes back into the ring, brandishing one of the Tag Team titles, but as he takes a swing Regal parries it and punches him down as well! The French hightail it to the back, unnerved by Regal’s fury, as he helps Tajiri back to his feet and we go to commercials.

(Match Quality 77%, Crowd Reaction 67%, Overall Rating 72%)

(William Regal debuted his new ‘No Gimmick Needed’ gimmick, it got a positive response)

(Rob Conway gained 2 points of overness from this match)

(The WWE Tag Team titles have lost image)

---Commercial Break---

-- THEY’VE GOT EACH OTHER’S BACK

As soon as we return from the break, we are backstage, where Chris Benoit is preparing himself for his Submission match with Chris Jericho later tonight. He is already in wrestling attire, and is now taping up his wrists, making the final adjustments. There is a knock at the door, and the camera pans around to see Shawn Michaels in the doorway, also in full ring attire and his trademark ‘body armour’ to boot…

Chris Benoit: Shawn?

Shawn Michaels: Hey, Chris. Listen, I was just on my way to the ring to face Kane, and I thought I’d stop by and say good luck for tonight. It should be a great match.

Chris Benoit: Yeah, it should. Thanks, Shawn.

Shawn Michaels: Hey, no problem. I’ve got your back, it’s what friends are for, right?

Chris Benoit: Yeah, me too. Good luck against Kane.

Michaels nods, and heads off towards the ring. The cameras follow him out of the locker room and down the corridor towards the stage, eventually losing him as he turns a corner. As the cameras swing back round again, however, we notice a solitary figure standing next to Benoit’s locker room door, clearly having been listening in to the conversation, unseen - Chris Jericho. Jericho’s face is a mask of jealousy and anger, and he turns on his heels and storms off as we head back to the ring.

(Segment quality 91%)

Jerry Lawler: What was that about?

Jim Ross: Well, evidently Chris Jericho overheard what Benoit and Michaels were saying, King.

Jerry Lawler: I don’t mean that, that’s obvious! What I meant was what the Hell is going on with Benoit and Shawn Michaels? What’s the Heartbreak Kid’s game, JR? What little stunt is he trying to pull?

Jim Ross: Oh come on, King, cut him some slack - he’s a great competitor and a sportsman, and he was just wishing Chris Benoit luck - they respect each other!

Jerry Lawler: I don’t buy it, JR, not for a second!

-- IT’S ALL ON THE LINE

“Oh, ooh, oooh… SHAWN!”

As King speaks, the Heartbreak Kid’s music plays over the speakers, and he struts out onto the ramp, saluting the cheering crowd and dancing a little on the stage, drawing more cheers, before strutting down to the ring, slapping hands with some of the fans in the front rows as he does so. Jumping into the ring, HBK poses as his pyro flies up from the apron, and then removes his ‘body armour’ as he awaits his opponent. “Fire Still Burns” plays over the speakers, and Kane heads out to the ring, also getting a big reaction from the crowd. He stalks down to the ring, eyes fixed on Michaels, and steps over the ropes into the ring itself, before firing off his pyro and squaring off with the Heartbreak Kid as the bell rings.

Kane vs. Shawn Michaels

The two men circle for a few moments, before Shawn backs up a step and launches a flying forearm, knocking Kane down, and then kips back up! Kane is back up quickly, however, only to take another forearm shot from HBK. Michaels winds up for a third as Kane gets back to his feet, but this time the Big Red Machine has it scouted, dodging and watching as Shawn careers into the turnbuckle, catching him for a sidewalk slam as he rebounds backwards. Kane follows up with a few well-placed stomps, and then waits for HBK to stand back up before blasting him with a clothesline, knocking him back down hard. Kane exercises this control for the next few minutes, using his clear size advantage to dominate the much smaller man, concentrating much of his offense on Shawn’s surgically-repaired back, likely aggravating several niggling problems. Eventually, however, Michaels is able to dodge a clothesline and fire back with some wild rights and a DDT. Following up with a springboard dropkick, Michaels begins to carve out an advantage for himself now, hitting and running to combat the size differential, using his speed to remain one step ahead of Kane. Eventually, however, Kane catches him after an attempted cross-body press, tossing him nonchalantly over his head with a fallaway slam! HBK clutches at his back in pain, and Kane signals for the Chokeslam. Shawn staggers to his feet, and Kane makes the lunge, but Michaels somehow ducks it, bounces off of the ropes, and nails a desperation Sweet Chin Music! Both men fall to the mat, and Michaels is able to drape an arm over Kane’s chest for the victory at 9:33! **½

“Sexy Boy” plays across the arena as Michaels gets shakily to his feet, holding his back in pain, and raises his arms in victory. He holds out a hand to Kane, pulling him up, and then offers a handshake. A little unsure of how to proceed, Kane cautiously takes the handshake, and the fans cheer the sportsmanship as the two men congratulate each other on a good match. The moment is broken, however, as a figure jumps into the ring from nowhere, carrying a steel chair - it’s Edge! Edge blasts Kane across the back of the head with the chair, sending him down, before jabbing the chair into HBK’s stomach, folding him over. Seizing the opportunity, Edge nails a thundering Edgecution DDT onto the steel chair, busting the Heartbreak Kid wide open! Still not finished, Edge rains down chair shot after chair shot onto HBK’s weakened back, eventually tossing the mangled wreck of steel aside and just stomping away at the surgically-repaired spine until security and referees pour down to the ring. Edge allows them to pull him away, yelling back at Michaels with a sick gleam in his eyes, so loud that we can hear him without a microphone…

“You won’t screw me now, Michaels, I’m one step ahead - I’ll show you!”

(Match Quality 76%, Crowd Reaction 88%, Overall Rating 84%)

Jim Ross: What a sickening, disgusting display by Edge! Shawn Michaels was just minding his own damn business, King, and Edge may have put him on the shelf! I suppose you’re happy about this?

Jerry Lawler: It’s like I always say - you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do! Edge knows Shawn Michaels inside out, he knows that HBK is devious and would try to screw him over, so he did what he had to do, JR, to make sure he has a fair and uninterrupted title match later on tonight!

Jim Ross: That’s a bunch of B.S. King, and you know it! Edge is just a sickening son-of-a-bitch with no morals and an ego that’d put most Hollywood actors to shame!

-- I’LL SHOW YOU…

We head backstage now, where we see another wrestler preparing in his locker room. Chris Jericho, however, is much less calm and collected than Chris Benoit was earlier on tonight. His face is a mask of anger and rage, and as he tightens up his elbow pads and wrist bands, he pulls them so tightly that they look to be cutting off the circulation to his extremities. His hair is dangling across his face as he tightens up his boots, and we can hear him muttering under his breath…

Chris Jericho: Good luck… I’ll show him good luck… nobody wishes me good luck, oh no… he’s got your back? Nobody has my back…

Jericho finishes his preparations now, and heads towards the locker room door. As he does so, he catches sight of himself in the mirror, and stops in his tracks. He stares his own reflection down, and the look of anger melts away, replaced by a malicious grin…

Chris Jericho: I’ll show you…

With that, the scene fades to black and we take a commercial break.

(Segment quality 100%)

(Chris Jericho gained 1 point of overness from this segment)

---Commercial Break---

-- WILD PEGASUS VS. SUPER LIGER, ICHIBAN!

“C’mon, you know I’ve got you, yeah… BREAK THE WALLS DOWN!”

We return from the commercials to hear Chris Jericho’s music playing, and the explosion of pyrotechnics that heralds Y2J, arms out wide with his back to the ring, standing on the ramp. He spins around and struts down the ramp, grinning widely at the reaction he is getting from the ravenous Japanese crowd. JR and King put over Jericho’s impressive record in Japan as he steps into the ring, and then speculate quite what the scene we saw the commercials could mean as his music fades away. Chris Benoit’s music replaces his, and the Rabid Wolverine heads out to the ring, also receiving a monstrous reaction from the live crowd. The two men stare each other down as Benoit climbs into the ring, and immediately tie-up as the bell rings, jockeying for position.

Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho - Submission match

Jericho wins the initial lock-up here, forcing Benoit into the ropes and breaking out the knifedge chops, lighting up the Crippler’s chest as the crowd ‘woo!’ along with the blows. After a few chops, Benoit begins to power back, forcing Jericho off of him and catching a wild chop, twisting the arm into an arm-wrench submission and driving his elbow into Jericho’s upper arm, then dragging him down to the mat and applying a buffalo sleeper hold, putting pressure on both the head an the arm. Y2J quickly gets to his feet, with the hold still cinched in, and runs towards the turnbuckle, spinning around at the last moment to crush Benoit in the corner, and following up with a mean superplex. Y2J continues to pile on the pressure now, with a few kicks to Benoit’s back and a longbow backbreaker, pulling back on the Rabid Wolverine’s neck and legs, pressuring his spinal column. Eventually, Benoit is able to free himself, and gets back to his feet, knocking Jericho down with a shoulder block and dropping an elbow to the face to take control. The advantage switches between the two men fast and furiously now, with both technical wizards displaying their abilities to the delight of the Japanese fans. Benoit continues his good early work on Jericho’s head and arm, using several armbars and shortarm holds to weaken up the shoulder whilst also driving him down to the mat with several big moves, head-first, to weaken his neck as well. After a backdrop driver, Benoit goes to the top rope, and nails a massive Swandive Headbutt, and instinctively makes the cover. No pinfalls, however, and the Crippler pounds the mat in frustration before getting up and taking a run-up, totally telegraphing a sliding dropkick as Jericho rolls away. Seizing the opportunity, Y2J latches on a camel clutch, immobilising Benoit in the middle of the ring now, as we take a commercial break.

---Commercial Break---

We’re back with Chris Benoit still in the camel slutch and Jericho yelling at him to tap out, to no avail. Benoit’s screams fill the arena as Jericho pulls back on his head and neck, and eventually lets the hold go, dragging the Rabid Wolverine roughly back to his feet for a high-angle backdrop, slamming him down on his back again. Jericho’s control of the match stretches now, as he continues to zone in on Benoit’s back with several high-impact moves and submissions, as well as severely limiting Benoit’s own mobility whenever he can make it back to his feet. After a power slam, the Crippler staggers back up, holding his lower back in pain, and Jericho pounches, launching out of the turnbuckle with a face crusher, and vaulting off of the ropes with the Lionsault! He too makes an instinctive cover, and he too is furious with himself when the count is not made. Y2J gets back to his feet, and goes to the turnbuckle. He contemplates going up top, before deciding against it and turning round… straight into a high-angle suplex from Benoit! Jericho rolls to the outside now, clutching his neck in pain, and crawls over to the timekeeper’s table. We see Benoit now, taking a run-up and going for an uncharacteristic suicide dive - only to be caught on the back as he flips over with a chair shot from Jericho! The referee somehow misses it, and Jericho takes advantage, hurling the Rabid Wolverine hard into the ring steps, and then jumping up to the apron, bouncing back off with a leg drop to the back. Back into the ring now, and Jericho goes to the top, willing Benoit to stand up before launching himself off of the turnbuckle with a missile dropkick - which sails over Benoit and hits the referee square on the jaw! Benoit now hits his trademark German suplex combination on Jericho, tossing him hard around the ring and increasing the pain on his neck, before locking on the Crippler Crossface! Jericho yells and screams in pain, before tapping out… but there’s no referee! Benoit sees this, and releases the hold, going to check on the referee now. He begins to rouse the hapless official, and is just getting somewhere when a blur comes flying off of the top rope - a flying chair shot to the back from Y2J! Disposing quickly of the chair, Jericho helps the referee back to his feet, and applies the Walls of Jericho. With his back already beaten and battered, Benoit fights as much as he can, but eventually taps out to give Jericho the victory at 28:45! ****¾

After the match, Jericho releases the hold and grins wildly as the referee raises his hand in victory. The reaction from the fans is mixed - partly cheers for the great match they have just witnessed, partly boos for some of Y2J’s conduct. Chris Benoit staggers to his feet, clearly hurting, and Jericho takes a moment to regard him now, before helping him straighten up and offering a handshake. Benoit looks incredulously at Jericho, and casts a gaze around at the fans, who are applauding this showing. The Rabid Wolverine takes the handshake… only for Jericho to pull him roughly into a double-armed backbreaker! The fans explode with furious boos and jeers now, as Y2J stomps away on Benoit, leaving him down and out on the mat. The referee pulls him away now, but Jericho just shrugs him off and exit’s the ring, a sadistic grin on his face as he yells out…

“I showed you, I showed you all! I don’t need you, I showed you!”

(Match Quality 96%, Crowd Reaction 95%, Overall Rating 95)

(Chris Jericho’s turn is complete, he is now a heel)

Jim Ross: …I’m speechless, folks, I’m just speechless at this display from Chris Jericho. King?

Jerry Lawler: What a transformation! Chris Jericho finally realised, JR, that what you need to get ahead in this business is a healthy disregard for the status quo!

Jim Ross: A healthy disregard for the status quo? Blasting a man across the back with a chair and attacking him after a match, that’s disregarding the status quo? In my book that’s despicable!

Jerry Lawler: It’s just like your old buddy Jesse Ventura always said, JR - win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat!

Jim Ross: Well, folks, I can see I’m going to have no luck with King right now, so we’ll take another commercial break, but don’t go away because our main event is next!

---Commercial Break---

Jim Ross: We’re back, and we’re just moments away from the main event, as Triple H defends the title against Edge, who we have already seen making an impact tonight.

Jerry Lawler: That’s right, JR, and with Shawn Michaels out of the picture, we’re guaranteed a fair and impartial title match!

Jim Ross: With Evolution around?

Jerry Lawler: JR, you’ve had it in for those guys since day one, and frankly I think you need to retain a degree of professional detachment in a position such as yours!

Jim Ross: Excuse me? Me? What about you?

Jerry Lawler: I’m the colour commentator, the rules are different for me. Anyway, let’s look at the tale of the tape, JR!

-- THE TALE OF THE TAPE

Sure enough, our view now switches to a tale of the tape-style screen, showing the usual shots of champion and challenger posing on either side of the screen, while the statistics are recounted in the middle for us to compare…

Triple H vs. Edge

Greenwich, CI : Hometown : Toronto, Canada

6’4’’ : Height : 6’5’’

260lbs : Weight : 240lbs

The Pedigree : Finishing Maneuver : Edgecution

The tale of the tape also runs down both men’s numerous career accolades, including Edge’s 9 reigns as a Tag Team champion and his singles titles, along with Triple H’s amazing 10 tenures as Heavyweight champion and his ‘Triple Crown’ achievement, whilst also noting that both men have been crowned King of the Ring in their pasts. The video then fades out, and we return to ringside.

(Segment quality 92%)

(Edge gained 1 point of overness from this segment)

Jim Ross: Well, there you have the tale of the tape, King, and judging from that you’d have to place the weight advantage, the strength advantage with Triple H, but on the other hand he is giving up a lot of agility to Edge!

Jerry Lawler: Added to that you’ve got the career highlights, JR - neither of these men are strangers to gold, but Edge has never won the World Heavyweight title, and he’ll be hungry for it tonight!

Jim Ross: Absolutely, King, and folks - we’re guaranteed a slobber knocker with this one, live from the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, it’s the World Heavyweight title, on the line!

-- PLAY THE (NUMBERS) GAME

“You think you know me?”

As JR rounds up the hard sell, Edge’s music plays over the speakers, and the mist begins to rise on the ramp as the fans hurl their abuse towards the stage, the events following the Kane/Shawn Michaels match still clear in their minds. Edge walks through the mist now, wearing his trench coat and shades, totally and utterly ignoring the crowd as he walks down towards the ring, clearly focused on the title match ahead of him. As Edge warms up, his music is replaced by Motorhead’s “The Game” and the boos only get louder as the World Heavyweight champion storms out onto the ramp, water bottle in hand, and the title secured around his waist. Triple H takes a sip from his bottle and sprays it high into the air, before strolling down the ramp towards the ring, interestingly unaccompanied by Ric Flair and Batista for this important match. Following another water-spray on the apron, Hunter ducks into the ring, and hands the belt over to the referee as the bell rings.

Triple H © vs. Edge - World Heavyweight title

Edge wastes no time, attacking Triple H from behind with a forearm shot as he is handing the belt to the referee, and continuing with some more punches and forearm strikes to the back of the head, forcing the Game into the middle of the ring for a backdrop and a chinlock. Quickly releasing the hold, Edge follows up with some stomps and kicks as the Game gets back to his feet, before hitting a couple of short-arm clotheslines to knock the champion back down once more. Eventually, however, Triple H is able to fight his way back into the match, blocking a punch and firing back with some of his own, driving Edge into the turnbuckle, where Hunter follows up with some more punches, stomps, and a DDT out of the corner. The two men give the match their all, pulling out all of the stops in front of the baying Japanese crowd, each man scoring numerous near-falls and managing to hit some of their signature maneuvers - including a fiery spinebuster from Triple H, and a half-nelson face crusher from Edge, followed up by the Edgecation hold. Hunter finds himself stranded in the centre of the ring, unable to reach the ropes, and instead powers out, scissoring his body onto his back, flipping Edge off of him and under the bottom rope! On the outside, Edge is becoming frustrated, and moves to the timekeeper’s table, grabbing the World Heavyweight belt. As he goes to take it back inside, however, the Game connects a baseball slide, sending the title back into Edge’s face! Triple H moves outside as well now, and the brawl takes on a new flavour with both men using their surroundings to dish out punishment - bouncing each other’s heads off of the apron, ring steps, and timekeeper’s table, before Edge whips Hunter first into the crowd barrier and then into the ring steps! Back into the ring, and Edge nails a goardbuster suplex, before sending the Game hard into the turnbuckle, face-first, and retreating the opposite corner. Edge is grinning madly, licking his lips in anticipation, willing Hunter to turn around - but as he goes to launch himself forwards for the Spear, he finds his leg held back by Ric Flair! Naitch, having hightailed out from the back, keeps a firm grip on Edge’s leg as Batista storms down the ramp behind him and soon joins him at ringside. Edge frees himself and then vaults high over the top rope, crashing down on both men with a suicide dive! All three men are down and out, and eventually Edge staggers into the ring once more, only to walk straight into a face buster from Triple H! Recoiling backwards, Edge is easy prey for the Pedigree, which gets the academic pinfall at 14:06 for Triple H to retain the World Heavyweight championship! **½

“The Game” fills the arena, duelling with the boos of the furious crowd, as Hunter gets to his feet a little shakily, and snatches the World Heavyweight title back from the official. Evolution enter the ring for a celebration, and Edge rolls to the outside, seemingly in utter disbelief that he has lost his big shot, beyond anger. Hunter embraces Flair and Batista, who is noticeably stiffer than the Nature Boy, and then raises his cheaply-retained title into the air, drawing only more boos from the disgusted crowd. Offering congratulations for a job well done, the Game slaps Batista on the back and shakes hands warmly with Flair, before grasping Batista’s as well. As he goes to draw away, however, the World Heavyweight champion finds himself locked in Batista’s iron grip. He grins, a little concerned, at his associate, who does not return the expression… instead blasting the Game with a furious clothesline! The fans explode with glee and cheers as Batista downs the champion, before turning around and levelling Flair with another clothesline! The behemoth stands over the fallen forms of his former comrades now, his arms raised in triumph, as the cheers of the fans ring around the arena.

(Match Quality 77%, Crowd Reaction 78%, Overall Rating 77%)

(Batista’s turn is complete, he is now a face)

(Batista gained 3 points of overness from this turn)

Jim Ross: Oh my gawd, King! Batista has turned on Evolution, he’s left them in the dust!

Jerry Lawler: What… what the…? I don’t understand, JR!

Jim Ross: I think I do, King, this man has had enough of being held down and bossed around by a man like Triple H, and he’s struck out on his own! Good for you, Batista!

Jerry Lawler: But… the Game’s the champion, he’s the man with the power, why turn on him?

Jim Ross: It’s not always about power, King, it’s about what’s right! We’re out of time, folks, thanks for joining us tonight. I’m Jim Ross, he’s Jerry Lawler, this has been WWE RAW, and the landscape has just changed!

Overall Card Rating - 83%

-- I'm still not 100% on the formatting and whatnot, any ideas regarding that are appreciated along with feedback on the first show. HeAT and RAW previews will be up soon.

Raven's Kid!

:devil:

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WWE RAW rating, RAW and HeAT Previews, new developmental talent, more…

The WWE has this morning announced an overnight 6.04 for February’s first RAW, with 7,544 in attendance at the Saitama Super Arena. This is expected to make the company around $301760 in income from ticket sales. WWE insiders are said to be happy with the rating, and also spoke very highly of the atmosphere in the Super Arena and of the Japanese crowd, saying that the idea of taking the live product out to Japan would be something they would consider doing again.

As well as the news of the ratings, several additions to its burgeoning Ohio Valley Wrestling developmental territory. The new additions will work, as usual, under Jim Cornette to improve their abilities until it is seen fit for them to make the jump to television. In alphabetical order, the list runs as follows…

Adam Pearce,

Adam Windsor,

Andy Anderson,

Jamie Koeppe,

Jorge Estrada,

Pepper Parks,

Shannon Ward.

Amongst the more interesting names on the list is Shannon Ward, formerly known as Daffney in WCW, who has worked in the WWE’s developmental system before. Ward has a large independent following, and it is expected that she will spend the least time in Ohio before being called up. Also joining the OVW roster will be Viscera, who has been sent down to the territory by new head booker Mark Jackson until his weight and mobility improve somewhat.

Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho’s match from RAW has been commended by those backstage within the WWE, especially road agent Dean Malenko and the head booker himself. Both men are reportedly very pleased with what they produced, and rumours of an early Match of the Year candidate are certainly not unfounded.

Also released by the WWE today were the previews for both this weekend’s HeAT and next week’s RAW - these can be found below.

-- Credit: www.grapplefanatics.com

Edited by Raven's Kid
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The font is a bit annoying... (hey, I had to say something negative...:P) but the show was awesome.

JR and King are well done in that there's just enough of them to be necessary, but not too much to bog it down. However, JR seems to think absolutely everything was dispicable and a disgrace to the human race. You turned him into Tony Schiavone :P I mean, sure, sometimes he's like that, but either this was the most sadistic episode of Raw ever, or JR oversold most of it ;)

Batista's turn was pretty formulaic, but still cool. It'll be interesting to see who Flair sides with, since from a booking point of view, Batista needs Flair much more than 3H, but it wouldn't really seem right to have H without Flair...but I guess this is answered with the Raw card seeing him against Orton, unless you're going to swerve everyone.

Also, yay for Adam Windsor in OVW! ;) But somehow Muhammad Hussan vs Tajiri doesn't seem too great an idea. Hasn't he been doing a load of anti-America promos? Why put him against a Japanese guy?

Edited by TheReilDeal
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Postwhoring

Don’t use the Diary Dome to bump your pathetic post count. And also, don’t use diary threads to suck up to writers with constant, one sentence “awesome show!”, or “Keep this one going!”, or, my favourite, “Can’t wait for the next show”. Well, you won’t be able read the next show if you keep giving this kind of feedback. Warning flags will be thrown without hesitation. This is EXACTLY what we don’t need…and, helps the turds sink to the bottom.

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WWE Sunday Night HeAT

13/2/05

Location: Saitama, Japan

Announcers: Todd Grisham and Johnathan “Coach” Coachman

HeAT begins with some highlights, as per usual, from this week’s RAW. We see the unfolding situation with Edge and Shawn Michaels, culminating in Edge’s vicious attack on the Heartbreak Kid; stills of Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit’s rocket-buster of a submission match, and the sickening attack from Y2J after the bout; and Evolution’s evening, the highlights package wrapping up with shots of Triple H’s tainted victory over Edge, followed by the attack on the World champion by Batista. From there, we go to the HeAT opening video, and then over to Todd Grisham and the Coach for the B-show everybody’s talking about…

Todd Grisham: Welcome to HeAT! I’m Todd Grisham, alongside my broadcast partner…

Johnathan Coachman: Coach is in the hiz-awz, baby! What’s up, Grisham?

Todd Grisham: Well, I…

Johnathan Coachman: Oh, wait - as long as I’d love to hear this one, Toddy boy, we’ve got to get right on with the show, and I’m told we’re going backstage to start!

-- THE HARD SELL…

We do indeed head to the backstage area, where Maven is to be seen, doing some curls and generally working out, despite not being booked for tonight’s show. As he works up a sweat, we see Simon Dean strolling into the locker room behind him, watching on with his arms folded and a disdainful look on his face. Maven continues his workout, oblivious, until he finally finishes and turns around, coming face-to-face with Simon…

Maven: You’re in my way.

Simon Dean: Oh really? From where I’m standing, most of the arena is in your way, tubby.

Maven: Excuse me? I’m in great shape!

Simon Dean: Just because you’re not a hulking lard-bucket like some people on the roster doesn’t mean you’re in great shape. You know, I’ve met dozens of people like you… you’re overweight. Look at you, you’re not toned, you’re not buff… you’re a joke!

Maven: You’d better watch your mouth!

Simon Dean: Is it any wonder you’re not wrestling on RAW week in and week out like you say you should be? Hell, you’re not even booked for this show… what does that tell you about your physical condition? Think about it, Maven - the Simon System can help you.

Maven: Oh right, and there’s me thinkin’ this was about more than a hard sell. I don’t want what you’re sellin’, Dean.

Simon shakes his head, disappointed, and goes to walk away, before getting an idea in his head.

Simon Dean: Fine. Fight me tonight. I’ll prove to you that the Simon System can turn you from rough… to buff.

Maven: You’re on.

With that, Simon Dean exits the locker room, grinning at the chance to sell some product, heading off towards the ring.

(Segment quality 77%)

(Simon Dean gained 1 point of overness from this segment)

-- THE PROOF’S IN THE POWDER

Only moments later, Simon’s music plays over the speakers, and after a few seconds he strolls out onto the ramp, heading down to the ring with confident strides. He steps into the ring, smirking at some overweight people in the front row and showing off his own physique, before Maven’s music replaces his and the Tough Enough champion storms out onto the ramp, clearly looking to get back at Simon for his earlier comments. The two men share a brief stare-down as the bell rings before tearing into each other.

Simon Dean vs. Maven

Simon dominates the opening moments of this bout with his innovative, fast-paced offensive maneuvers keeping Maven guessing and unable to carve out any real advantage of his own, spending much of his time on the backfoot. After a hangman’s DDT, however, Simon spends too long showboating before attempting a moonsault, allowing Maven time to roll away and take control. The first-ever Tough Enough winner shows off those textbook credentials for a while now, using his grasp of the basics of the mat game to wear Simon down fairly indiscriminately, before hitting a big dropkick to send Simon toppling to the outside. Ducking under the apron, Simon seems to be scrabbling around for something, and as Maven leans over the top rope to grab him, he gets a faceful of the Simon System in powder form! Simon rolls back into the ring now, and gets a quick inside cradle for the 3-count on a blinded Maven at 4:04. *¾

After the match, Simon positively leaps for joy at the victory, and yells to the downed Maven that it was all down to the Simon System, which is more or less true. Wiping the powder from his eyes, Maven gets to his feet, furious, and lunges at the self-help guru. Simon is too wily for him, however, and ducks out of the ring, backpedalling quickly up the ramp as Maven stands furious in the ring.

(Match Quality 72%, Crowd Reaction 67%, Overall Rating 69%)

Johnathan Coachman: Simon making a quick exit there, Todd, but it doesn’t change that he beat Maven! Y’know, I think he’s right - Maven is looking a little overweight lately!

Todd Grisham: Look who’s talking, Coach. Evidently you’ve been enjoying a little too much of momma’s home cooking over the last few weeks!

Johnathan Coachman: Hey, I’m still carrying some holiday weight! We’ll be right back, folks!

---Commercial Break---

-- DEFENDING THEIR TERRITORY

Back from the commercials, and faithful WWE interviewer Chris Leary is standing with the Justice League, Rosey and the Hurricane, both of whom are standing with their hands on their hips in classic superhero style…

Chris Leary: Hurricane, Rosey… you’re moments away from a bout with the new team of Mark Henry and Garrison Cade, and it appears as if you’ve been chosen to give the newcomers a welcoming match in the tag team division. Do you have any words?

The Hurricane: It seems, Citizen Leary, that the Justice League must once again battle the oversized forces of evil in the tag team division, this time in a new form. But evil never changes its nature, only its shape, and rest assured that our hurri-powers are more than equipped to deal with some pretenders to the throne.

Rosey: You can say that again, Hurricane!

The Hurricane: Citizen Leary, this interview is over. Come, Rosey!

And, with that, the two superheroes ‘fly’ out of shot, leaving Leary standing alone holding the microphone. After a brief pause, we return to ringside.

(Segment quality 77%)

(Rosey gained 1 point of overness from this segment)

Todd Grisham: Hurricane and Rosey are fired up for this one, Coach!

Johnathan Coachman: Not that it matters, Todd, my boy Garrison Cade is in this one, which means we already know the result!

Todd Grisham: Does he even like you? From what I hear backstage, he doesn’t even return your calls anymore. Trouble in paradise?

Johnathan Coachman: He had a network problem, he told me so! Stop spreading gossip!

-- NEW KIDS VS. OLD HANDS

“When the beat kicks in, I start rockin’!”

Mark Henry’s music plays over the speakers now, and the newly-formed tag team of the World’s Strongest Man and Garrison Cade head out onto the ramp, flexing and posing. The reaction from the fans is mixed, leaning towards boos based on the presence of Cade in the duo. The two men head down to the ring, and moments later “Stand Back” replaces their music. The Justice League head out onto the ramp, capes billowing out behind them, posing for the crowd. The two superheroes then head down to the ring to face off with the new kids on the tag team block.

Mark Henry/Garrison Cade vs. Justice League

The physically-imposing duo of Henry and Cade quickly overpower their opponents, with Henry pulling out the rare feat of lifting Rosey over his head early on and tossing him to the outside, leaving Hurricane alone against two bigger men. Isolating RAW’s premier superhero, the newcomers carve out a strong hold on the match now, both men using their power to dominate the high-flier. Cade brings his agility into play as well, leaping off of the top rope with a flying elbow, which gets a 2-count before Rosey intervenes. Hurricane tags in his bigger partner now, and with the size advantage gone the Justice League begin to pull their way back into the bout as Rosey manhandles Cade around the ring. Eventually, Mark Henry gets involved, grabbing Rosey for a Bearhug, but the superhero manages to reach out at tag Hurricane whilst still in the hold, and then falls backwards, sending both himself and Henry to the outside! With Cade watching the fall, Hurricane surprises him from behind with an Eye of the Hurricane for the victory at 6:40! ¾*

“Stand Back” plays again, and Hurricane celebrates the victory as Cade rolls to the outside, and Rosey joins his comrade in the ring. The superheroes play to the crowd for a while, and we go to a commercial break.

(Match Quality 62%, Crowd Reaction 69%, Overall Rating 66%)

(Mark Henry didn’t sell much, which hurt the match rating)

---Commercial Break---

-- DID SOMEBODY SAY JOBBER-SQUASH?

As we return from the commercial break, we see an unfamiliar young wrestler in generic tights standing in the ring, and Rhyno’s music is playing over the speakers. The Man-Beast heads down to the ring, snarling and panting as always, while the announcers inform us that his opponent today is named Daniel Shade. Rhyno heads into the ring, and immediately goes after the youngster when the bell rings.

Rhyno vs. Daniel Shade

The former Hardcore champion instantly blasts Shade with a shoulder block to knock him down, and drops a few elbows before latching on a facelock. The youngster eventually battles his way out of the hold, getting to his feet and driving an elbow into Rhyno’s ribs, but quickly finds himself dominated again with a series of punches and kicks from Rhyno, sending him into the turnbuckle. There, the Man-Beast nails some hard shoulder thrusts and chops, before hefting Shade onto the turnbuckle as if for a superplex and hitting a modified ace crusher! Rhyno allows Shade to get up, and the youngster tackles him down, before hitting a leg drop and a springboard splash, which gets him a round of applause. Rhyno is instantly back on the offensive, however, dropping the debutant with a rib breaker and a stomach crusher, before Irish whipping him hard into the turnbuckle and dropping back, before charging forwards as Shade rebounds backwards… Gore! After that, the 3-count is academic at 4:25 *¼

Rhyno’s music plays again now, and the Man-Beast leaps back to his feet, pounding his chest in victory, and climbs the nearest turnbuckle to him, pounding his chest ferociously again, as we take another commercial break.

(Match Quality 72%, Crowd Reaction 51%, Overall Rating 61%)

---Commercial Break---

Johnathan Coachman: We’re back! Coming up, we’ve got Stevie Night HeAT himself, Steven Richards, meeting Sylvain Grenier, but right now it’s the debut of Muhammed Hussan, as he faces Tajiri!

Todd Grisham: I don’t get why these guys are so anti-American, yet they’re starting their charge against a guy from Japan, Coach.

Johnathan Coachman: Ha! Shows what you know, Todd! Tajiri is an American citizen, Japanese or not, and I guess for these guys an adopted American is just as bad as a born American! Or worse! No… as bad, definitely as bad.

-- BACKING IT UP

Muhammed Hussan’s music plays now, and the headdress-toting Arab-American heads out onto the ramp to a chorus of boos from the live crowd, with his manager Khosrow Daivari alongside him. The two men discuss their tactics on the way down to the ring, and Hussan hands Daivari his headdress as he steps into the ring. Tajiri’s music plays now, and the Japanese Buzzsaw heads out to a great reaction from the live crowd, walking down to the ring to face Hussan.

Tajiri vs. Muhammed Hussan

Hussan offers a handshake as the bell rings, which Tajiri takes, instantly being yanked into a spike DDT from the Arabian, who starts stomping away at him hard on the mat, before leaping down onto him with a splash. Tajiri fights his way back up with some punches, before kicking Hussan hard in the face, sending him reeling back into the ropes, and back off with a dropkick to the Buzzsaw. The two men put on a good bout here, with Tajiri using his quickness and ‘educated feet’ to knock Hussan down time and again, whilst the debutant uses his sheer ferocity and good grasp of technical wrestling to wear the Japanese Buzzsaw down as the match goes on. After some hard-hitting kicks, Tajiri sends Hussan into the corner and nails his handspring elbow, but the Arabian is able to counter the attempted follow-up bulldog with an atomic whip, sending him over the top rope! Tajiri lands hard on the outside, and Hussan slyly distracts the official while Khosrow Daivari begins to stomp and whale away on the Buzzsaw, even smashing his face against the ring steps, before rolling him back under the bottom rope. Hussan takes advantage, and latches on a Camel Clutch! Tajiri tries to fight the painful hold, but eventually has no choice other than to submit at 6:55! **

After the match, Hussan celebrates his cheap debut victory, and Khosrow Daivari joins him in the ring. As they raise each other’s arms and gloat the the booing crowd, however, Tajiri kips up to his feet behind them, and begins to line up! The fans cheer at this, which causes a confused Hussan to turn around - right into a killer heel kick! Hussan hits the mat, and Daivari quickly escapes the ring before he meets the same fate, dragging his client out of the ring with him. Tajiri stares the two Arabs down now, as Daivari yells that this isn’t over.

(Match Quality 75%, Crowd Rating 64%, Overall Rating 69%)

(Muhammed Hussan gained 1 point of overness from this match)

Todd Grisham: Tajiri getting a measure of revenge there after the tainted victory from Muhammed Hussan!

Johnathan Coachman: Maybe that’s how they do things in the Middle East, Todd?

Todd Grisham: They’re American, Coach.

Johnathan Coachman: Oh. Let’s go to the back!

-- THE GM HAS SPOKEN!

Coach’s quick distraction from his ignorance takes us backstage, where Steven Richards is standing with a microphone, staring down the camera, with seemingly no interviewer in sight…

Steven Richards: This is Stevie Night HeAT… this is my show! Sylvain Grenier, you want to come into my house and challenge me? I don’t know how they do things in France, buddy boy, but over here on Stevie Night HeAT we have a little more respect for the General Manager, if you know what I’m saying. So tonight, I’m gonna kick your ass all the way back to Paris, mon copain, and that’s the facts. I’ll show you, you’ll see!

Richards tosses down the microphone, and walks off towards the ring as we take a commercial break.

(Segment quality 67%)

---Commercial Break---

-- GOOD GUY VS. EVIL FOREIGNER… IS THIS 1985?

“I’ll show you, you’ll see!”

The HeAT GM’s music is playing full force as we return from the commercials, and Steven Richards heads out to the ring, accompanied of course by Victoria, resplendent in bright pink trunks. Steven slaps hands with a few fans on the way down to the ring, and even pauses to sign an autograph for one young kid in the front row, before jumping into the ring. La Resistance’s music plays now, and Sylvain Grenier heads out to the ring, waving the French flag around, ignoring the boos of the live crowd. Stepping into the ring, Grenier removes his robe and beret, handing them to the referee along with the flag, and then attacks Steven from behind as the official is removing the items!

Steven Richards vs. Sylvain Grenier

Grenier’s pre-match attack gives him a strong early position, and he dominates the opening moments with some hard strikes, a clothesline, and some fierce knee drops to the gut and ribs. The Frenchman follows up with an abdominal stretch submission, before kneeing Richards hard in the kidney and shoving him into the turnbuckle, following up with a dropkick and a rollup. Steven fights back, however, kicking out and unloading on Grenier with some snap suplexes, dropkicks of his own, and a huge spine buster that sends the Frenchman rolling to the outside. As he catches his breath, however, Steven vaults over the top rope with a suicide dive, sending both men clattering down to the floor! They both re-enter the ring now, and Grenier makes a charge at Richards, but only eats boot and takes a big DDT. Steven signals for the finish now, and hauls his opponent up to his feet, setting him up for the Stevie-T! The move connects, and Richards hooks the leg, but there is no count! Getting up to investigate, Richards notices a figure laughing it up on the outside - it’s Christian! Christian, seemingly in a measure of revenge for the events of RAW, has knocked out the official, and watches with glee as Grenier blasts Steven in the head with the French flag, before reviving the referee and hitting his Running Powerslam for the victory at 7:48! *¼

As the bell rings, Christian quickly jumps up onto the apron, nodding to Grenier as the Frenchman leaves the ring. All alone with Steven now, Christian begins to stomp away on the HeAT GM, until Victoria tries to come to her man’s aid! After a stiff slap to the face, Christian grins wildly at Victoria, before dropping her with a big clothesline! Continuing his stomps, Christian leaves both Steven and Victoria decimated, before climbing the turnbuckles to celebrate.

(Match Quality 68%, Crowd Reaction 65%, Overall Rating 66%)

Todd Grisham: What a sick display! Can you remember the last time something like this happened on HeAT?

Johnathan Coachman: I certainly can’t, Todd, and let me tell you I’m not happy, and I can bet Stevie Night HeAT won’t be happy either!

Todd Grisham: You can say that again! We’ll be back next week, folks, but make sure you tune into RAW tomorrow night to catch Chris Benoit and Batista versus Edge and Chris Jericho, as well as the return of Randy Orton and much more! We’ll see you there!

Johnathan Coachman: Peace out!

Overall Card Rating - 57%

-- Thanks, Funky, for the point about feedback. I don't want the diary filled with people whoring away with fake feedback just to boost their own post count/fragile male ego, thanks. Keep it relevant, please.

-- Reil - treat the Tajiri/Hussan situation as the writers trying/failing to be clever, I guess. And yes, that episode of RAW was pretty heinous - woman-beating, evil heel turns, Shawn Michaels on television, etc. You can see JR's point.

Raven's Kid!

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WWE RAW

14/1/05

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Announcers: Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler

This week’s broadcast begins with some highlights, showing the events of last week’s main event, featuring Batista’s dramatic turning on his Evolution comrades following Triple H’s successful title defense, and also touching on Chris Jericho’s shocking actions following his epic submission bout with Chris Benoit, Edge’s brutal attack on Shawn Michaels, and some highlights from two weeks ago detailing the Randy Orton situation. From there, we head over to the packed-out US Bank Arena, where Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are ready to do the introductions for tonight’s show.

Jim Ross: Welcome to RAW! 7,547 excited fans join us tonight in the US Bank Arena, and it’s gonna be one wild night! We’ve got a huge tag team main event, and we’re going to get the bottom of the twists and turns we saw last week! Not only that, King, but Randy Orton is back tonight!

Jerry Lawler: It’s a big night, JR, for sure, but frankly I’m only interested in one thing - I want to hear what Batista has to say for himself after turning on Evolution! Has he no gratitude for the men who made him?

Jim Ross: Batista is a great athelete in his own right, King, I’d be wary of saying Evolution made him!

Jerry Lawler: They did!

Jim Ross: Well, whatever the case, King, we’re going to see him in action in tonight’s main event, teaming up with Chris Benoit against Chris Jericho and Edge, and… wait a minute!

-- IN THE SAME BOAT…

“You think you know me?”

JR is cut off by Edge’s whispering voice echoing across the arena, and the mist rises as his music begins to play. Moments later, the Edgester storms out onto the ramp, eschewing his usual mannerisms and taunts, walking quickly down to the ring and grabbing ring announcer Tony Chimel’s microphone without a word. The boos of the fans seem to be irritating Edge, but he tries not to show it as he talks over them…

Edge: Last week, we witnessed a travesty! In full view of countless WWE officials, Triple H was allowed to get away with cheating, using his friends, to beat me and retain the World Heavyweight title… the title that I was only moments away from winning before old man Flair got involved! I’ve had a lot of time over the last week to think about just why this was allowed to happen, and I’ve come to a conclusion… everybody is against me!

The fans boo at this remarkably self-serving statement, but Edge ignores them and ploughs on…

Edge: It’s all another brick in the wall that has been built around men like myself for years in this company, men who aren’t sleeping with the owner’s daughter or running around the back finding God every half hour! The WWE is obsessed with Triple H, and they won’t let him lose the belt, so every time he gets into a rough spot they send out Naitch to help him get the job done! And you know what? It’s even deeper than that… this is institutional racism, people, plain and simple! Ever since Montreal, ever since Bret Hart, the WWE hasn’t wanted a Canadian champion, and they’ve done everything they can to hold Canadians down… and if they can’t, if we rise above their glass ceiling, the propaganda machine kicks in to make sure nobody realises that we’re Canadian… why do you think they changed Benoit and Jericho’s home towns? Perhaps they’ll try to claim that I’m from Los Angeles next, or Florida, huh? There is a conspiracy against Canada, against ME, in this company, and it’s about time somebody lifted the lid on this cesspit of corporate corruption once and…

“C’mon, you know I’ve got you, yeah… BREAK THE WALLS DOWN!”

Chris Jericho’s music cuts Edge off in mid-sentence now, and Y2J walks out with a microphone of his own. He locks eyes with an angry-looking Edge for a moment, and then begins to speak, walking down the ramp to the ring as he does so…

Chris Jericho: You know, a few weeks ago, I might have rubbished you, I might have asked you to please…

The fans begin to yell ‘shut the Hell up’ in unison, but Jericho cuts them off…

Chris Jericho: SHUT UP! You people are the ones who need to take that advice, you know that? Edge… I was sitting backstage, and I realised that you’re right, every word you’re saying is correct! This company is built on a web of lies, politics, and friendships, and it makes me sick! Whether it be Shawn Michaels popping in to wish Chris Benoit luck, or Ric Flair screwing you out of the title that everybody in this arena knows you were set to win, it all comes down to one thing in the WWE - it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know, and it makes me sick! Let’s analyse here, if you don’t mind?

As Y2J steps into the ring, Edge shrugs as if to say ‘go ahead,’ and Jericho continues…

Chris Jericho: I’ve been held down since day one in this company… in the Elimination Chamber match at New Year’s Revolution , you all saw Triple H and Randy Orton trying to take everybody else out because they wanted the whole Pay-Per-View to be about them! Heaven forbid anybody with talent be involved in the main event, oh no, it’s all about Hunter and Orton - those bastards are best buddies, no matter how they make it look to you idiot fans, the only reason they pretend to hate each other is so it makes it easier for them to keep the World Heavyweight title in their inner circle! Who was the last World champion before Triple H? Randy Orton! Who had the title before him? Chris Benoit, another member of their little conspiracy clique! And before him? Triple H, once again - need I say more?

Edge: And, if you step back one step further, Chris… Shawn Michaels!

Chris Jericho: You’ve got it, buddy, the rabbit hole just gets deeper and deeper, doesn’t it? We’re through the looking glass here, people - this man and I are the only two men who can see the WWE for what it really is, and it just so happens that we’ve been booked together in the main event tonight! You know what that says to me? It says that the WWE knows we’re onto them, and they’ve sent Batista and Chris Benoit to take us out before we expose them - well, it ain’t gonna happen, juniors! You people just watch us, we’re going to survive anything the WWE management throws at us, and as of now, we’re in this together!

Y2J holds out a hand to Edge, and the two men shake hands in the middle of the ring to cement their alliance, much to the chagrin of the crowd. With that, Jericho’s music plays again, and the two men head backstage, talking to each other in a conspiratorial fashion the whole time, as if they are afraid of being bugged or similar.

(Segment quality 97%)

(Edge gained 3 points of overness from this segment)

Jim Ross: O…kay. That was certainly something, King.

Jerry Lawler: I get it! It all makes sense!

Jim Ross: Does it?

Jerry Lawler: Well, you’ve got to admit they make a convincing point, JR, I don’t think all of that could be down to just plain coincidence, do you?

Jim Ross: The way I see it, King, all of that is just those two egomaniacs trying to explain away their own shortcomings with some half-baked conspiracy theory! Let’s just get on with the wrestling.

-- DOUBLE GOLD? NON, MONSIEUR!

“Ain’t no stoppin’ me, no!”

Shelton Benjamin’s music plays over the speakers now, and the Intercontinental champion heads out to the ring, basking in the reaction he gets from the Ohio crowd. High-fiving a few front row fans and jumping into the ring, Benjamin hands over his belt and awaits his opponent. La Resistance’s music plays now, and Rob Conway heads out to the ring, his Tag Team title around his waist, waving the tricoleur all the way down to the squared circle. Aping his tag team partner’s strategy from HeAT last night, Conway hands his possessions over to the official, and makes use of the distraction for a quick pre-bell assault on Benjamin.

Shelton Benjamin © vs. Rob Conway - WWE Intercontinental title

Conway forces Benjamin quickly into the ropes here, and blasts him across the chest with some forceful chops, followed by a dropkick and a series of hard shots to the jaw, before the anti-American takes a run-up and charges at the all-American, only to eat turnbuckle as Benjamin dodges. Shelton hits a neckbreaker on the rebound, and begins to take control now, working on Conway’s neck with some grounded submission holds, slowing the pace of the match right down, whilst also using some hard-hitting backdrops and a scary back body drop that almost sends Conway out of the ring to further weaken the neck area. Eventually, the Tag Team champion begins to fight back, using a sly lowblow to even the odds and going after Benjamin’s back with a backdrop of his own and some brutal kicks and strikes, sending the Intercontinental champion sprawling to the mat. Conway goes to the top for an uncharacteristic high-flying attempt now, but his break from his area of expertise proves costly as he misses a flying splash, almost rebounding back onto his feet with the impact, allowing Benjamin to hit a modified ace crusher, setting Conway up for the Dragon Whip and the pinfall at 5:45! *¾

After the bout has finished, Shelton takes his title and exits the ring, getting a good reception from the crowd. As he heads up the ramp, however, Rob Conway gets to his feet, angry at having blown such an opportunity, and grabs his French flag from the outside, running at Benjamin with the flag raised like a weapon! Benjamin is almost at the top of the ramp before Conway reaches him, but the anti-American is then knocked down by a figure who has just darted out from behind the curtain - William Regal! The Englishman floors Conway with a stiff southpaw punch, sending him sprawling out on the stage. Benjamin notices the disturbance and turns around, before thanking Regal for his aid. The two men nod courteously at each other, and then head backstage, leaving a dazed Conway on the ramp.

(Match Quality 73%, Crowd Reaction 70%, Overall Rating 71%)

Jerry Lawler: What was that about? Why the Hell did William Regal get involved there, JR, he wasn’t involved in this match!

Jim Ross: You know, there’s something very wrong about you complaining about outside interference. Besides, it was after the match had finished, and Conway was clearly about to waffle Shelton Benjamin with that flagpole!

Jerry Lawler: Still - William Regal might’ve had his problems with La Resistance lately, JR, but they’ve thus far been confined to the ring and he should try to keep them there! It’s hardly sporting to be running around attacking people from behind!

Jim Ross: Again, the flagpole incident springs to mind. We’ll be right back.

---Commercial Break---

-- STILL THE BEST THING GOING…

We return from the break to find Johnathan Coachman standing in the interview area, alongside an angry-looking Triple H, who is wearing his usual open-collared suit, with the World Heavyweight title slung over his shoulder. Next to him is Ric Flair, also wearing an open-collared suit, clearly attempting to restrain his friend’s temper with a warning hand placed on his arm…

Johnathan Coachman: The Coach here, with Triple H and Ric Flair. Guys, we’re just a week removed from the events in Japan which saw Batista knock both of you out and apparently leave Evolution… I guess what we all want to know is how are you both feeling?

Triple H: How am I feeling, Coach? How am I feeling? HOW AM I…

Ric Flair: We’re doing fine, Coachman, Hunter here is just a little off-kilter about the whole business. Frankly, we’re surprised more than anything, that Dave would just turn on us with no hint of a problem.

Johnathan Coachman: With all due respect, Ric, some people may claim you’ve given him plenty of reason to do such a thing - your recent conduct especially, Triple H, has left many people claiming you’re holding him down.

Triple H: Hey, you listen here, you snot-nosed little punk, if you ever talk like that to me again, I’ll…

Ric Flair: Whatever his reasons might be, Coachman, we don’t care. If Evolution is a trio or a duo, it doesn’t bother us. You know why? Because this faction still has the World Heavyweight title, it has the Game, and it has the Nature Boy… and in my book, that makes it the best thing going today, woo! Batista has made his bed, Coachman, and in the coming weeks he’ll have to lie in it… and make no mistake about it, he will regret his decision, because we’re going to show him exactly what he’s missing, woo! C’mon, Hunter, let’s get outta here.

Triple H: Fine… I’m watching you, Coach. Remember that.

With that, Evolution exit the interview area, leaving a very nervous-looking Johnathan Coachman staring after them, as we return to ringside.

(Segment quality 99%)

(Ric Flair gained 2 points of overness from this segment, Triple H gained 1)

Jim Ross: Coach may have gotten himself into hot water there, King! But, more’s to the point, I don’t buy Ric Flair’s claim that Evolution won’t miss Batista, that man is a star on the rise and you’ve gotta believe they won’t be quite the same force without him!

Jerry Lawler: You heard the man, they still have the title - which means they have the power - and they have two men who have held the World title twenty-six times between them! Batista is the man who won’t be the force anymore, JR, because all brawn and no brains is a bad combination!

Jim Ross: Well, we’ll just see how smart Batista is in weeks to come, won’t we? For my money, he’s shown how smart he is by finally getting out from under Triple H’s…

Jerry Lawler: Hold up a moment, JR, I’ve just heard that there’s something going on backstage!

Jim Ross: Another backstage segment? Gee, we’re on a roll…

-- THE LEGEND KILLER IS HERE

JR’s sarcasm cannot prevent the cameras from taking us to the back, where a snazzy-looking limousine has just pulled up in the parking lot. The chauffeur steps out of the driver’s side door, wearing an expensive-looking uniform complete with a peaked black cap, and opens one of the rear passenger doors. Out steps Randy Orton, resplendent in a stylish black suit, grinning from ear to ear.

Chauffeur: Here we are, Mr. Orton, sir.

Randy Orton: Here we are indeed, Jimbo. Take my bags up to the locker room, will ya? I’ve got to drop in and say hi to an old buddy. And, hey - call me Randy.

Orton grins at the chauffeur, who is somewhat taken aback by this friendly familiarity, and nods, before crossing to the trunk to collect his employer’s bags. With that, Orton strolls off towards the doors, the grin never fading from his face.

(Segment quality 79%)

Jim Ross: I wonder who Randy Orton’s talking about, King - perhaps that old friend he mentioned is Batista?

Jerry Lawler: Congratulations, JR, it took you longer than everybody else in the arena, but you got there!

Jim Ross: There’s no need to be rude, King.

Jerry Lawler: Oh, for Pete’s sake, we all knew he was talking about Batista! Even that stupid-looking ugly kid over there got what he was talking about, and he looks like the last thing he got was an STD! Haha!

-- TAJIRI VS. HUSSAN, NOW WITH 50% MORE PARTNERS!

Before King can insult any more innocent fans, the music of everybody’s favourite Arab-Americans plays over the speakers, and Muhammed Hussan heads down to the ring, along with his manager Khosrow Daivari. As the two men warm up, and hand their headdresses to the official, JR informs us that this match was made by Eric Bischoff after the controversial ending to the match between Hussan and Tajiri on HeAT last night. Sure enough, Tajiri’s music plays next, and the Japanese Buzzsaw heads out to the ring, with his partner Rhyno by his side. The two teams size each other up in the ring, and attack as the bell sounds.

Rhyno and Tajiri vs. Muhammed Hussan and Khosrow Daivari

The two teams duke it out to start, with Daivari quickly bundled to the outside of the ring by a tackle from Rhyno, leaving Tajiri and Hussan in the ring to start the bout. Hussan initiates a lock-up, and the two men enter into a hammerlock-reversal sequence that sees the Arabian torquing back on Tajiri’s arm and the Japanese Buzzsaw trying numerous ways to free himself, only for Hussan to cinch the hold back in, before finally nailing a hammerlock-backdrop. Continuing at the arm, Hussan drops a knee into the elbow joint, and tags in Khosrow Daivari, who jumps to the top rope straight away and hits a flying bionic elbow to the arm. The Arabs continue to isolate and work over Tajiri now, keeping him away from Rhyno and dominating him with continual work on the arm, eventually leaving the Buzzsaw with effectively one arm to use. Eventually, Daivari attempts a leg-scissor takeover, but Tajiri somehow counters into a stunning enziguri to leave both men down! Crawling, one-armed, to his partner, Tajiri finally makes the tag he has been looking for, whilst Daivari leaps up to tag in Hussan moments later. Rhyno is on fire, however, and quickly sets about demolishing Hussan with some fierce shoulder thrusts in the turnbuckle and a high-impact superplex, before slamming him hard into the turnbuckle and dropping back into the opposite corner, lining his opponent up. As he does so, however, Khosrow Daivari jumps into the ring, seemingly to take the proverbial bullet to protect his friend, but Tajiri sees him and jumps over the top rope into the ring, spitting green mist as he does! Daivari, Rhyno, and the mist all collide in the middle of the ring, but it is the Man Beast who takes the brunt of the mist! Daivari rolls to the outside, whilst a blinded Rhyno is easy prey for a Complete Shot by Hussan and the pinfall at 9:38! **

Not wanting to push their luck, the Arabs quickly exit the ring post-match, with Hussan helping his winded manager backstage, yelling to the fans that they are proving just how inadequate America is, or words to that effect. In the ring, Tajiri begins to help his partner to his feet, but Rhyno shoves him away and gets up on his own, rubbing the mist from his eyes. The Man Beast yells something or other to Tajiri, clearly upset at having lost the match based upon his own partner’s difference-maker, and storms backstage on his own.

(Match Quality 76%, Crowd Reaction 67%, Overall Rating 71%)

(Muhammed Hussan debuted his new “Angry Young Man” gimmick, it got a positive response)

---Commercial Break---

-- FRIENDS REUNITED…

As we return from the commercials, we are backstage, in Batista’s locker room. The former ‘Animal of Evolution’ is preparing for his main event match later tonight, lacing up his boots and applying his ring tape. He then begins to search around for something, assumedly part of his attire, but cannot find it. As he looks, a voice is heard off screen, confirming our announcer’s earlier guessing…

Randy Orton: Lookin’ for this?

Orton walks into the shot now, holding an elbow pad. He tosses it to Batista, who catches it and embraces him warmly, grinning…

Batista: I didn’t know you were gonna be back tonight. How’s the head?

Randy Orton: Well, we’ll see tonight I guess, feels fine though. How’s about you?

Batista: I’m good, yeah… Ric and Hunter were just talkin’ back there, looks like they’re on the warpath now.

Randy Orton: Look, man, take it from me - you did the right thing. The last place you need to be is trapped in those men’s shadow, stuck in mediocrity because they can’t accept that you’ve outgrown them. You’re out on your own now, buddy, and that’s where the action is.

Batista: Yeah… not totally alone, though.

Randy Orton: No way, buddy, I’ll always have your back. Anyhow, I’ve gotta get changed, because my match is up soon. I’ll speak to you after the show.

Batista: Right. Good luck.

The two men shake hands, and Orton exits the locker room, leaving Batista to pull the elbow pad on and return to taping up his wrists as we switch to ringside.

(Segment quality 73%)

(Randy Orton lost 2 points of overness from this segment)

-- 2 MOTY CANDIDATES IN 2 WEEKS?

“Stand back, there’s a Hurricane comin’ through!”

RAW’s resident superhero heads out to the ring now, getting a good reaction from the live crowd, posing on the ramp with his hands on his hips as always, and then striding down to the ring, taking the time to high-five a few fans in the front row and then stepping into the ring, removing his cape and tossing it to the outside. Christian’s music plays a moment later, and Captain Charisma heads out to the ring, mouthing off at some front-row hecklers and generally shrugging off the terrible reception that the Ohio crowd is giving him. Heading into the ring now, Christian spends a few moments mocking the Hurricane, before the bell rings.

The Hurricane vs. Christian

The two lightweights start off with a cruiserweight-style reversal sequence in the middle of the ring, ducking under each other’s attacks and flipping under each other, before Hurricane finally darts to the ropes, bounces off, and floors Christian with a flying forearm, jumping back up and nailing an elbow drop, followed up with a moonsault splash. The superhero attempts to follow up with a suplex, but Christian blocks it and nails one of his own, rolling on top for a quick 2-count, and then stomping away at Hurricane, keeping him on the mat, following up with a vicious leglock and some more stomps, this time to the knee joints and ankles, clearly zoning in on the legs now. Helms battles to his feet, and hits another flying forearm, before going to the top rope for a missile dropkick, but Christian is able to sidestep and grabs Hurricane’s legs, dropping down to the mat with them for a legbreaker. Taking control now, he slows the match down with some more stomps and kicks to the legs, before applying a double-leg grapevine in the middle of the ring. Christian dominates in the next few minutes of the contest, totally centred on his opponent’s lower half with some great submission-based wrestling and some innovative offense, including a missile dropkick to Hurricane’s knee and a back-body drop that lands the superhero’s knees hard on the ropes. Eventually, Hurricane manages to get back on level pegging, striking away at Christian to get back to his feet, before whipping him into the turnbuckle. As Hurricane attempts a charge, however, one of his legs seemingly gives way, leaving him on one knee and in perfect position for a field-goal kick to the jaw from his opponent. Siezing the opportunity, Christian applies a half Boston crab now, and we go to a commercial break.

---Commercial Break---

We return with the crab still applied, and Hurricane desperately battling for the ropes. Captain Charisma is laughing it up, yelling for Helms to tap out and shouting back at any abuse he hears from the crowd. Eventually, however, the superhero seems to get a burst of energy and makes it to the ropes, forcing Christian to break the hold. Hurricane is clearly babying the legs now as he strikes away at Christian, unable to use his usual high-flying and fast-paced offensive moves. Eventually, he knocks Christian down with a haymaker punch, and backs up, hitting the Shining Black Wizard! The force of the move clearly hurts Helms as well, however, and both men are down on the mat. Christian is the first to his feet, and takes the time to taunt the fans before turning around, right into a super kick! Hurricane again sacrifices his own well-being to hurt his opponent, and is down clutching his knee, unable to take advantage. Using the ropes now, Hurricane pulls himself to his feet, and heads up to the top, looking to put Christian away. This proves to be a bad strategy, as his damaged legs cannot give him the thrust needed for his flying splash, and he falls painfully short. Christian takes advantage, rolling to the outside and retrieving a steel chair from the timekeeper, brandishing it high and yelling back at an outraged fan in the front row. As he does, however, we see a figure jumping out of the crowd, taking a moment, and then unleashing a ferocious super kick as Christian turns around, crushing the chair back in his face - it’s Steven Richards! Steven rolls Christian back into the ring, where the Hurricane is just about back on his feet, nailing another self-sacrificing Shining Black Wizard and this time slumping on top for the pinfall at 22:16! ****½

The crowd gives Hurricane a rapturous reception as the bell rings, impressed with him for being able to finish the match. He rolls to the outside now, where Steven Richards is on hand to help him to the back, along with an EMT. In the ring, Christian eventually stirs, and gets to his feet, hearing Hurricane’s music playing. Furious, he starts yelling abuse at the referee about Steven’s interference, and eventually just knocks the official’s teeth out with a furious right hand! Christian continues to whale away on the referee now, until security rush down to the ring to pull him away, yelling and screaming the whole time.

(Match Quality 100%, Crowd Reaction 76%, Overall Rating 88%)

Jim Ross: Oh come on! Christian can’t take a loss, so he takes it out on the referee?

Jerry Lawler: He got attacked, JR! Steven Richards kicked a damn steel chair in his face, and Nick Patrick let it stand? How is that fair?

Jim Ross: Christian brought the chair into play, King, it was Christian who was attempting to mar what was, up to that point, a truly great match, and in my book he deserves everything he gets!

Jerry Lawler: Oh, for God’s sake, stop getting on your moral high horse! Let’s hope this commercial break calms you down!

---Commercial Break---

-- CHALLENGE EXTENDED…

As we return from the break, Todd Grisham can be seen walking backstage, minding his own business as usual. Into the scene, however, storms an angry and out-of-breath Christian, who has clearly come straight from the ring. Captain Charisma grabs Grisham by the arm, and steers him into the centre of our view, alongside himself…

Todd Grisham: Whoa! Wha… what’s going on?

Christian: Shut up and stand still, little T. You’re about to get an exclusive interview, and all you’ve gotta do is stand still and be quiet. How’s that sound?

Todd Grisham: Uh, I…

Christian: That’s not being quiet, T.

Turning to face the camera now, Christian grabs Grisham’s wrist and steers it towards him so that the interviewer’s microphone is right under his face…

Christian: Steven Richards! Who the Hell do you think you are, punk? You stuck your nose into my business last week on RAW, you made me look a fool in front of millions of my Peeps, and that’s just not acceptable! So, to show you how we do things in the big boy’s game, I got even with you in your little match on HeAT last night… end of story! Or, so I thought, but oh no - you’re a fame-hungry little SOB, aren’t you? You want to make something with me to boost your own floundering career? Alright, it’s your funeral! They tell me that RAW is having a show in Springfield on February twenty-sixth, a show they’re calling Retaliation. That seems pretty fitting to me, Steven, so here’s the pitch - you and me, one-on-one, and I’ll show you just what retaliation is about, for all of my Peeps worldwide! Get out of my face, Grisham, we’re done.

With that, Christian shoves the interviewer out of his way, and storms away in the same direction he was heading before, walking quickly out of shot.

(Segment quality 75%)

Jim Ross: Clearly Steven Richards has had more of an effect on Christian than we first realised, King! And yes, folks, we can confirm that RAW will be hosting Retaliation in Springfield, Mass, on the twenty-sixth of this month! There are still a limited amount of tickets on sale, and you can contact your local cable or satellite provider to check availability for what is sure to be a huge show!

Jerry Lawler: Quit the hard sell, JR, it’s not necessary! We’ve already got Christian vs. Steven Richards lined up, and watching Captain Charisma put that crazy nut job in his place will be worth the twenty bucks on its own!

-- A HEAD INJURY VS. THE RAVAGES OF TIME

“Hey! Nothing you can say can change what you’ve done to me!”

Randy Orton’s music plays now, and the Ohio crowd give the Legend Killer a thunderous ovation as he makes his return to the WWE after a short absence, looking psyched up as ever and showing very little in the way of ill-effects from his recent concussions. Randy steps into the ring now, posing for the fans the whole time, as his music is replaced by Evolution’s. The boos of the crowd reach fever pitch as Ric Flair heads out from the back in a glittering blue robe, taunting and ‘woo’-ing away despite the boos. He struts down to the ring, his eyes fixed on his former comrade, before disrobing on the outside and sliding into the ring as the bell sounds.

Randy Orton vs. Ric Flair

Orton immediately takes it to Flair as the bell rings, punching and striking away at him in the early moments of the match, forcing him into the ropes and unloading on him with some fierce knifedge chops, each one eliciting a fresh ‘woo!’ from the crowd. As the chops continue to rain down, Flair eventually folds over to protect himself, dropping to his knees and pleading with Randy… only to nail the inevitable low blow! Orton folds over now as Flair stands up, driving him to the mat with a DDT to take control. The Nature Boy shows off his timeless grasp of ring psychology now, going after Orton’s head with some submission holds, hard punches and strikes to the temples, and a big backdrop that sends the Legend Killer’s head whiplashing off of the mat. Continuing his work on the head, Flair latches on a reverse chinlock, trapping Orton in the middle of the ring, cinching back with the hold and leaving his opponent yelling out loud, much to the disdain of the crowd, who begin to clap along now, getting behind Randy. He fights back to his feet now, with the chinlock still applied, and throws a wild mule kick backwards, catching Flair right in the crotch! As the Nature Boy clutches his groin in pain, Orton nails a gutwrench suplex, before signalling for the end. As he does, however, we see a very angry Triple H storming out from the back with the sledgehammer in hand! Orton sees the Game coming, and assumes a fighting stance as he enters the ring. Hunter swings the sledgehammer, and Orton ducks, leaving the wild swing to connect with Flair’s face! Flair goes down hard, and Triple H is caught off guard with an RKO from Orton! Randy hauls Flair to his feet now, dropping him back down with an RKO for good measure, and makes the cover for the 3-count at 8:55! *½

With his music echoing around the arena, Orton climbs onto the turnbuckle in celebration now, his arms raised in triumph. As he does, however, Triple H comes at him from behind, hitting him hard across the back with the sledgehammer! The Game helps Flair to his feet now, and the remnants of Evolution begin to stomp away at Orton like vultures now, until the Ohio crowd begins to go crazy - Batista is running down the ramp! The behemoth almost decapitates Flair with a clothesline, before turning to Triple H. Hunter raises the sledgehammer in defence, but Batista simply grabs the weapon and tosses it aside, before blasting Triple H with another hard clothesline! The Animal helps Randy Orton to his feet now, and the two friends exit the ring, leaving Evolution flat out on the mat.

(Match Quality 65%, Crowd Reaction 89%, Overall Rating 81%)

(Ric Flair lost 1 point of overness from this match)

Jim Ross: Yes! Finally, with the odds even, King, we find out that Evolution might not be as dominant as they’ve led us to believe! How does it feel, Game, to be the man on the receiving end of the beating?

Jerry Lawler: This is not right, JR! Batista wasn’t involved in this match… since he’s left Evolution, he’s lost all sense of manners and decorum!

Jim Ross: Oh yeah, because Triple H and Ric Flair just exude manners.

Jerry Lawler: They’re very classy individuals!

Jim Ross: Yeah, those sneak-attacks and sledgehammers are really classy, King. We’ll be right back, folks, but don’t go away because our huge main event is next!

---Commercial Break---

-- SLAM OF THE WEEK…

We return from the commercial break not to the ring, but to the WWE Slam of the Week, which this week is the match between Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit from Saitama, Japan…

Jericho yells and screams in pain, before tapping out… but there’s no referee! Benoit sees this, and releases the hold, going to check on the referee now. He begins to rouse the hapless official, and is just getting somewhere when a blur comes flying off of the top rope - a flying chair shot to the back from Y2J! Disposing quickly of the chair, Jericho helps the referee back to his feet, and applies the Walls of Jericho. With his back already beaten and battered, Benoit fights as much as he can, but eventually taps out!

~Scene Skip~

Chris Benoit staggers to his feet, clearly hurting, and Jericho takes a moment to regard him now, before helping him straighten up and offering a handshake. Benoit looks incredulously at Jericho, and casts a gaze around at the fans, who are applauding this showing. The Rabid Wolverine takes the handshake… only for Jericho to pull him roughly into a double-armed backbreaker! The fans explode with furious boos and jeers now, as Y2J stomps away on Benoit, leaving him down and out on the mat. The referee pulls him away now, but Jericho just shrugs him off and exits the ring, a sadistic grin on his face as he yells out…

“I showed you, I showed you all! I don’t need you, I showed you!”

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WWE RAW rating down on last week, Helms/Reso commended, more…

The overnight rating for the 14/2/05 edition of RAW has come in at 5.27, with a 5.05 and 5.49 in the respective hourly slots. This rating is down by almost a whole point on last week’s show, and the WWE are said to be unsure as to just why this may be. The Creative team are said to be hoping that this incident is just a blip, and Head Booker Mark Jackson has spoken to the press, quipping that “it was probably because it’s Valentine’s Day,” displaying his usual devil-may-care attitude. 7,547 were in the US Bank Arena for the show, which is almost a full house.

Shawn ‘Khosrow’ Daivari has apparently complained to road agents backstage that Tajiri’s work during their tag team match was far too stiff, and could have resulted in injury. This is not the first time that Tajiri’s stiff working has been noticed, and it is likely that the road agents will speak to him regarding this.

Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho’s match from RAW has been commended by those backstage within the WWE, especially road agent Dean Malenko and the head booker himself. Both men are reportedly very pleased with what they produced, and rumours of an early Match of the Year candidate are certainly not unfounded.

Shane Helms and Jason Reso have both been commended by management for their stellar performance on RAW, putting on a brilliant match and producing arguably a second Match of the Year candidate in just two weeks for the company. The decision to have the two men face each other on the show was reportedly made at the eleventh hour, and both men reacted incredibly well to the prospect of being given half an hour on the show and told to run with it.

The word backstage after RAW this week was that the low ratings for the show could have been caused by the fact that the programme somewhat turned into the ‘Randy and Dave Show’ as Johnny Ace called it, referring to the heavy use of both Randy Orton and Batista. It is certainly possible that the overuse of the two men resulted in a negative reaction from viewers, which would reflect the audibly smaller reactions both men received towards the end of the night in the US Bank Arena itself.

Both HeAT and RAW previews are expected within the next few days on WWE.com, so check back here for more details.

-- Credit - www.grapplefanatics.com

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WWE Sunday Night HeAT Preview

February 20th, 2005

HeAT this week is tag team central, with two big tag team bouts signed for your enjoyment - not only will the newly-paired duo of Mark Henry and Garrison Cade attempt to get their first victory in tandem as they meet Rhyno and Tajiri, who are having their own issues as a team lately - but in the main event, Christian and Steven Richards will attempt to get in a few more licks at each other before their bout at Retaliation, teaming up with Tyson Tomko and the Hurricane respectively.

Further carving out his niche in the singles division, as he and his partner have a ‘monopoly’ on the tag team division as he puts it, Rob Conway will be facing off with Val Venis on HeAT. With William Regal confirmed to be at the show, and the two men’s recent problems, will the Brit make himself known in this match?

In other action, we’re set to see the Justice League face off against the pairing of Mark Henry and Garrison Cade, who have not teamed together before. Will the experienced superheroes see off the challenge, or will it be a case of beginner’s luck for the new kids on the tag team block?

Also confirmed is another chance for Simon Dean to show off his patented Simon System - with the Hurricane otherwise indisposed for the show, Dean has challenged his fellow superhero Rosey to take the Simon System Challenge, in an attempt to sell some product.

Join us, as always, at 8/7 CT on SpikeTV for an action-packed HeAT!

Confirmed matches:

Steven Richards/The Hurricane vs. Christian and Tomko

Rob Conway vs. Val Venis

Henry and Cade vs. Rhyno and Tajiri

Simon Dean vs. Rosey

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WWE Sunday Night HeAT

20/2/05

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Announcers: Todd Grisham and Johnathan “Coach” Coachman

HeAT begins with our highlights from the week that was in the WWE, featuring Christian’s challenge to Steven Richards for Retaliation next Saturday, as well as a brief overview of William Regal’s continuing issues with Rob Conway and the main event scene and all of its drama. From there, we cross over to HeAT with Todd Grisham and the ever-excitable Johnathan Coachman.

Todd Grisham: Welcome to HeAT! I’m Todd Grisham alongside…

Johnathan Coachman: The Coach, dawg!

Todd Grisham: …and oh boy have we got a show for you! Steven Richards teams up with The Hurricane in our main event tonight to face Christian and his Problem Solver, Tyson Tomko, and we’ll also see Mark Henry and Coach’s favourite wrestler Garrison Cade meet Rhyno and Tajiri! It’s tag team heaven!

Johnathan Coachman: And let me just tell you that I’ve spoken to Garrison Cade today and he’s feeling pumped up for tonight!

Todd Grisham: Did you have anything to do with that, uh, pumping up?

Johnathan Coachman: I don’t know what you’re implying, Todd, but I don’t like it.

-- AGGRESSIVE SALES POLICY

“The Simon System can save your life!”

Simon Dean’s music, with an added spoken-word line at the beginning, begins to play now and the self-help guru strides out from behind the gorilla curtain and down the ramp. The fans jeer and yell at Dean as he heads towards the ring, but he eyes them with a look of superior disgust and simply continues down to the ring, awaiting his opponent. The Justice League’s music plays next, and Rosey heads out to a good reaction from our live crowd, posing for photographs and then heading down to the ring with a purposeful stride. The two men circle the ring for a few moments, and the bell rings.

Simon Dean vs. Rosey

Rosey takes a step back as the bell rings, and Dean rushes forwards to capitalise - right into a clothesline. The superhero follows up with a big leg drop and a jumping knee drop to the gut, leaving Simon rolling around on the mat in pain. Rosey hauls him up and into the air for a body slam, but the wily self-help guru manages to drop down behind the superhero and nail a coy lowblow without the official seeing! Capitalising on Rosey’s momentary incapacitation, Simon hits some elbows to the back and a Russian legsweep, taking control. He continues to display his clever psychology and technical skill now, locking the superhero in a longbow backbreaker submission and then switching to an STF, wrenching on the back to the point that when Rosey makes it back to his feet he is clearly in some difficulty. Simon continues his work on the back throughout now, and eventually is able to capitalise on a painfully-telegraphed clothesline from the superhero to nail a huge backdrop driver, slamming the big man down on his back and neck, and easily rolling on top for the 3-count at 4:51. **¾

After the bout, Simon leaps to his feet in celebration, jumping onto the bottom rope and yelling that the Simon System has been proven successful once more. As he spouts off more sales pitches to front-row fans, Rosey makes it to his feet, a little shakily, and stands behind. Simon jumps off of the ropes and turns around… coming face-to-face with an angry superhero! His post-match bravado ebbing away now, Simon begins to back away, stuttering anxious apologies as Rosey advances on him, before eventually ducking under his legs and rolling out of the ring to safety, running to the back!

(Match Quality 74%, Crowd Reaction 66%, Overall Rating 70%)

Todd Grisham: Simon Dean picks up a big win here on HeAT, Coach, but he’s left running for the back afterwards!

Johnathan Coachman: That Rosey needs to learn to let go, Todd! He’s just a bully, pushing around people smaller than him… and let’s face it, pretty much everybody is smaller than him! Maybe if he stopped and listened to Simon Dean, he’d lose some weight and he wouldn’t be such a joke!

Todd Grisham: Have you sampled the Simon System?

Johnathan Coachman: Nope, but he’s shown me some results - one woman lost two hundred pounds in three weeks, can you believe that?

Todd Grisham: No, I really can’t, and not in the incredulous way. More in the way of Simon being a liar.

Johnathan Coachman: Nobody likes a doubting Thomas, Todd. Anyway, let’s head to the back!

-- LAYING THE TRAP…

Indeed, we journey to the backstage area now, where Christian is standing, resplendent in a casual black suit, alongside WWE interviewer Chris Leary. Captain Charisma adjusts his shades, and grins heartily at the camera…

Christian: What’s up, HeAT Peeps? It’s that time of the show once more - Captain Charisma’s on the stick! Steven Richards… you’ve been quite the thorn in my side of late, but I’ve got to say I’ve calmed down since RAW last week and I’m prepared to do the mature and reasonable thing here - and that’s kick your ass all the way over Springfield at Retaliation next week!

Despite his somewhat dubious definition of ‘reasonable’ here, Christian continues…

Christian: Thankfully for all of my Ohio peeps… you’re getting a special preview of that one tonight, as my main man Tyson Tomko and I take Stevie and his comic book wannabe down a peg or two in your HeAT main event, Peeps! Oh yeah, Peeps, this is one decision that the people of Ohio are gonna be able to make without a recount - it’s gonna be Captain Charisma and the Problem Solver all the way, because Hell - where Steven Richards is concerned… I live the high life, and he’s just a lowlife. Hit the road, Leary.

With that, Christian shoves Chris Leary out of shot, and beams once more at the camera before strolling away, as we go to a commercial.

(Segment quality 75%)

---Commercial Break---

-- RAW RECAP NUMERO UNO

Returning from the break, we have some highlights from this week’s action-packed edition of RAW, featuring the main event situation. After a short introductory flash, we head to some highlights from RAW…

Chris Jericho: …they’ve sent Batista and Chris Benoit to take us out before we expose them - well, it ain’t gonna happen, juniors! You people just watch us, we’re going to survive anything the WWE management throws at us, and as of now, we’re in this together!

Y2J holds out a hand to Edge, and the two men shake hands in the middle of the ring to cement their alliance…

~Scene Skip~

…Batista exits the ring as well, grabbing Jericho and hauling him up, before tossing him headlong into the ring steps. Moments later, however, the behemoth is attacked from behind by a figure that has just come from the crowd - Triple H! The World Heavyweight champion drives his former associate’s head into the ringpost, and then launches him into the steps. Chris Benoit, now on his feet, looks to the referee to stop this, only to see Ric Flair standing over the official with a lead pipe in hand! In the ring, Edge begins to round on Flair, clearly not trusting him, and Naitch responds by blasting him with the pipe as well! Meanwhile, the Game grabs Batista and sends him into the ring, before smashing Benoit’s head against the steps and then throwing Chris Jericho back into the ring as well. Evolution watch on as a dazed Jericho regains enough sense to get up and hit a Lionsault on Batista, and the referee regain enough sense to make the 3-count…

~Scene Skip~

…As they (Jericho/Edge) hightail up the ramp, they are passed by a figure streaking down towards the ring - Randy Orton! The Legend Killer dives into the ring, carrying Triple H’s trademark sledgehammer, and blasts the World Heavyweight champion square across the face with it! Flair tries to intervene, grabbing the weapon, but Orton just grins wildly at him, before dropping the Nature Boy with the second RKO he has felt tonight! With Evolution dealt with, Orton helps Batista to his feet, just as Chris Benoit enters the ring. Triple H and Flair manage to escape now, and backtrack up the ramp, yelling abuse at the three men standing tall in the ring.

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Guest LilJoeyPez

Indeed it was a nice little B-show. I like how HeAT is just as detailed as RAW, it shows a lot of effort has gone into this. The Robert Conway and Christian promos were excellent.

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WWE RAW

21/2/05

Location: Penn State University, Pennsylvania

Announcers: Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler

RAW begins, as ever, with a run-down of events from the week that was, showing last week’s tag team main event to RAW and the fallout from that, as well as the bouts between Randy Orton and Ric Flair, and the ending to last week’s show - Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, and Batista standing tall in the ring as Evolution hightail backstage. From there, we head over to the esteemed Penn State University in Pennsylvania, where Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler are at ringside, along with 7,514 fans, for this week’s action-packed RAW!

Jim Ross: Welcome to RAW! We’re five days away from Retaliation, and oh boy do we have a show for you! Chris Benoit meets Ric Flair in what could be one for the ages, Edge and Batista face off one-on-one after last week’s main event, and Chris Jericho faces Randy Orton! And that’s not all!

Jerry Lawler: We’ve got Captain Charisma in the house, JR! La Resistance! Triple H! The list goes on, and even the return of a certain devious snake to the show can’t bring me down!

Jim Ross: I assume you’re talking about Shawn Michaels?

Jerry Lawler: Yeah, that guy’s bad news! I’ve just got fingers crossed that Edge and Chris Jericho take him out at Retaliation this weekend!

Jim Ross: What are you talking about?

Jerry Lawler: Oh JR, you poor thing - haven’t you heard the rumour? Edge and Chris Jericho versus Chris Benoit and the so-called Heartbreak Kid! It’s been doing the rounds all week!

-- RETALIATION RUN-DOWN

“I’m back! And I’m better than ever!”

Eric Bischoff’s music opens the show, cutting JR and King short in their rumour-mongering, and the General Manager strolls out onto the ramp, grinning and looking very pleased with himself despite the usual chorus of boos he is receiving from the fans. Ignoring them, for the most part, Bischoff enters the ring and takes a microphone, smiling to himself still…

Eric Bischoff: Welcome to the award-winning RAW, as tonight we visit Penn State!

A small pop for this, but most of the fans are too wise to Bischoff to fall for the cheap heat…

Eric Bischoff: Of course, you people should be used to that by now - you’re used to the winners being the visitors! But, I digress… I’m out here tonight in an official capacity, and that is to announce the run-down of the matches for this weekend’s Pay-Per-View extravaganza, WWE RAW presents Retaliation! Now, we’ve all been excited by Shelton Benjamin’s quest to be a fighting champion, and I for one salute his professional integrity. So, this weekend, we’ll see a ten-man, over-the-top battle royal match for the Intercontinental championship! And the best news for you, Shelton, is that even if William Regal beats you tonight, you’re still confirmed for the battle royal, so you’ll get a chance to win the belt right back! Now, that is a fighting champion!

The crowd gives a good pop for that match, and the General Manager ploughs on…

Eric Bischoff: And, it gets better… Chris Jericho and Edge have been pretty vocal lately, criticising WWE management and attacking superstars outside of sanctioned matches, so we’ll give them something to keep them both busy this weekend, and I think even they’ll be happy with this - Jericho and Edge meet Chris Benoit and the Showstoppa himself, Shawn Michaels!

Another rapturous reception from the crowd for that one, and Bischoff continues…

Eric Bischoff: Now, two weeks ago we all watched, open-jawed, as Batista attacked his former comrade Triple H in the middle of this very ring. He may have gained your support, but he’s gained the rage of Triple H and Evolution, so much so that the Game has personally requested a bout with Batista… it’s my duty to respond to my champion’s wishes, so at Retaliation we’ll see Triple H vs. Batista… with the World Heavyweight title on the line! Have a nice night, people!

Jim Ross: What a match! Triple H vs. Batista, title on the line, and time could be up for the Game!

Jerry Lawler: Oh, please! Batista might be the young pretender, JR, and he might have the people in his corner, but the Game has fought men like him before and won, that’s why he’s the champion!

Jim Ross: If Triple H underestimates Batista, King, he’s lost already!

Jerry Lawler: You can bet he won’t be underestimating Batista, JR, he taught the man everything he knows! It’ll be a tough victory, but it’ll be a victory nonetheless for Evolution!

As the announcers discuss things further, Bischoff’s music plays again, and the General Manager heads to the back, still looking incredibly pleased with himself for throwing together such a promising card in next to no time at all.

(Segment quality 78%)

-- FIGHTING THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

Only moments after Bischoff has disappeared behind the curtain, his music does not fade out but is abruptly cut off by the familiar 5-second countdown ticking away on the TitanTron…

“C’mon, you know I’ve got you, yeah… BREAK THE WALLS DOWN!”

Moments later, Chris Jericho is out from behind the curtain, pirouetting around on the stage amidst a hail of boos and abuse from the crowd. He heads on down to the ring, yelling abuse right back at some of the more vocal members of the front-row, before heading into the ring and snatching a microphone…

Chris Jericho: Welcome to RAW… is… unfair!

The fans are a little taken back by this slightly childish variant on the usual catchphrase, but Jericho carries on unabated…

Chris Jericho: You know, a little while ago we had something on this show that we called the Highlight Reel… simply put, yours truly, the Highlight of the Night, got the chance to wax poetic about anything he chose and interview some of the fightingest superstars in the WWE today. But, ever since I saw the truth at the heart of this company’s rotten core, ever since I spoke out, I’ve been ignored! The Highlight Reel has been pulled from the schedule! I… have… been… oppressed! The management thinks that if they take my show then they can shut me up, but as my partner-in-crime always says - ‘you will never know me!’ Vinnie Mac, Eric Sleaze-off, none of you people can silence me! You people can’t see it, but Vinnie’s running around like mad backstage, whoever they’ve got in the Gorilla position is screeching into his headset like a hawk, because I’m not supposed to be here!

There is a cheer for that, although it is less of a cheer in support of Jericho’s rule breaking and more of a cheer designed to get him to take the advice of the management and leave. Jericho, of course, takes the crowd’s reaction entirely incorrectly…

Chris Jericho: Exactly! But, luckily for you conspiracy-loving Jerichoholics, I’m fighting the propaganda machine! Next week, on RAW - whether the bigwigs and the conspirators like it or not, the Highlight Reel WILL return! I’ll set up the equipment myself if I have to, I’ll lug it all the way to the show and all the way back onto the plane… I’ll do whatever it takes to put my message across, because I will not be ignored! The more you ignore me, the closer I get! You’ve seen it tonight, already… Eric Bischoff gives me and Edge a tag team match to ‘keep us busy’ at Retaliation, not so we don’t cause trouble as he claims, but so we don’t take headlines from his precious World champion by excelling, as we always have, in singles competition! But Hell, the joke’s on you, Bischoff, because that tag team match is ours, just like your pawn Randy Orton is mine tonight! This corrupt, evil regime is gonna be demolished around you, and I’ll be the man operating the wrecking ball! Think about that one, Jerichoholics.

With the rant over, Jericho tosses the microphone back to Howard Finkel, who drops it, and leaves the ring with his music playing once more, swaggering backstage and ignoring the boos and jeers of the crowd.

(Segment quality 96%)

Jim Ross: Well… as he mentioned, Chris Jericho wasn’t scheduled to be out here right now, and we appear to be out of time for this segment.

Jerry Lawler: He’s being held down, JR, cut the man some slack!

Jim Ross: That remains to be seen, King, and even so - he can’t just run around doing what he wants! We’ll be back after this.

---Commercial Break---

-- …YOU JUST MIGHT GET IT

“Ain’t no stoppin’ me, no!”

Shelton Benjamin’s music greets us as we return from the commercial break, and the fighting Intercontinental champion strolls out onto the ramp, the belt over his shoulder, to a good reception from the Penn State crowd. He heads down to the ring, seemingly not worried about the prospect of facing William Regal, or about the recently-announced battle royal at Retaliation, and hands the title to the official. William Regal’s music replaces his now, and the Brit makes his way out from the back to a good response from the crowd. The two men shake hands before the match, and the bell sounds to start the match.

Shelton Benjamin © vs. William Regal - WWE Intercontinental title

Benjamin offers a lock-up to start, and Regal takes it before effortlessly spinning behind him and landing a back suplex, dropping the Intercontinental champion on his neck and applying a headlock. Shelton fights his way to his feet, still in the hold, and falls back into the ropes, shoving Regal away from him and catching him with a clothesline. From there, Shelton follows with an armbar and a few stomps to Regal’s elbow, before picking him up and landing a jumping arm-breaker. The match sways back and forth as it wears on, with both men displaying their technical gifts and showing good ring sense. Benjamin continues to work on Regal’s arms and hands, with some submissions and well-placed kicks, at several times holding the Brit in some painful mat-holds. Regal tries to keep his assault focused on Shelton’s head with submission holds and some high-impact maneuvers such as a stalling brainbuster and a jumping DDT, but eventually the Intercontinental champion’s work on his arms becomes apparent as Regal finds it harder and harder to apply a secure hold. Changing tactics now, Regal floors Benjamin with a tackle and begins stomping away at his head, even dropping a knee to his face and applying a leg-sleeper submission. Shelton starts to wilt in the hold, unable to reach the ropes or escape the Brit’s vice-like legs, and looks set to tap out before a figure is seen jumping onto the apron - it’s Sylvain Grenier! Grenier’s gesticulating distracts the official, allowing his partner Rob Conway to slide into the ring with his Tag Team title belt, and blast it over Regal’s head! The Brit slumps to the mat, and Conway is out of the ring before anybody notices - least of all a groggy Shelton Benjamin, who is just able to roll on top of Regal for the pinfall at 8:55. ***½

As the bell rings, La Resistance celebrate their successful interference on the outside of the ring, and jump back inside the squared circle. Whilst Grenier holds his Tag Team title aloft for all to see, posing and grinning, Rob Conway lands some stomps to Regal’s head and arms, yelling obscenities at him in French. After a minute or so of this, with the bell ringing incessantly to no avail, La Resistance finally stop, and Conway turns around - right into a Dragon Whip kick from Shelton Benjamin! The Intercontinental champion, obviously deducing that interference won him the bout, follows up with another kick to Grenier, and tosses both Tag Team champions to the outside, before helping Regal to his feet. The two men stare down the Tag Team champions as the scene cuts to commercials.

(Match Quality 90%, Crowd Reaction 68%, Overall Rating 79%)

---Commercial Break---

-- WHO’S BEHIND DOOR NUMBER ONE?

As we return from commercials, Christian’s music is playing, and Captain Charisma is strolling down to the ring in full ‘cocky ass’ mode, playing to the fans despite the boos he is getting and generally inciting hatred amongst the Penn State faithful. Stepping into the ring, Christian takes a microphone and begins to speak…

Christian: A big hello to all of my Penn State Peeps! What’s up?

A chant of “C-L-B!” from certain sections of the crowd answers that one, and Christian furrows his brow…

Christian: Oh come on, that’s hardly fair, is it? What have I done to deserve tha… oh, wait a minute! Peeps, just because none of your teams can get ahead, don’t take it out on the Peep-Master General! Do I cry to you guys if my team loses? No, I get on with it and I keep on living that high life! Speaking of which, my lowlife opponent for Retaliation, Steven Richards…

The ‘Peep-Master General’ is cut off at this point by a cheer for Richards, which further annoys Christian…

Christian: What? You people want to cheer for that garbage reject? Alright, fine, it’s your funeral, Peeps. I just hope you have some insurance once you’re done betting the farm on that lowlife, interfering son-of-a-bitch, because once I unveil his mystery opponent tonight he’s got no chance in Hell! I mean, what kinda opponent would I be if I kept Stevie-boy sweet with an easy victory, some sort of warm-up match? That’s not sportsmanlike, Peeps! So, in the interest of fairness and your viewing pleasure this weekend, I’ve given Stevie a battle tonight… because he won’t win the war with Captain Charisma without winning a few battles, right?

The Penn State faithful entirely fail to respond to that, save a few isolated shouts, so Christian ploughs on…

Christian: O…kay. Ah, you know what? Screw it, Peeps, and screw you too Stevie! I hope you’ve got that medical insurance, buddy boy… because you’ve got KANE!

The stage shakes with an explosion of pyro, and Kane’s music booms out of the speakers, almost drowned out by the boos and jeers from the crowd. The Big Red Machine steps out onto the ramp, looking maniacal and psychotic as ever, storming down to the ring in a few big strides and sharing a glance with Christian before ‘igniting’ the turnbuckles. Captain Charisma leaves the ring, and heads up the ramp.

(Segment quality 80%)

Jim Ross: How in the Hell is this fair, King? Kane’s a monster, he’s a damn inhuman menace, and Christian has fed Steven Richards to the proverbial lion in this one!

Jerry Lawler: JR, Stevie’s a big boy, I’m sure he can handle himself and… hey, check it out! Christian’s joining us! Here to scout your opponent, Christian?

Jim Ross: He’s probably just here to watch the sacrifice.

Christian: I’m just taking in the show, JR, and you need to watch your tongue in case it gets you in trouble.

Jim Ross: I’d like to see you try anything.

Christian: You want to go some, little man?

Jerry Lawler: JR, leave it, please! This is a man of the Peeps we’re talking about here, a man of dignity and reverence, you can’t go around threatening him!

Jim Ross: Oh, quit kissing up.

Christian: Yeah, I really don’t like you either, King.

-- A MOUNTAIN TO CLIMB

“I’ll show you, you’ll see!”

Steven Richards’ music plays over the speakers now, and the HeAT GM heads out onto the stage, accompanied by Victoria, with his arms raised into the air. He walks down the ramp now, pausing to trade yelled insults with Christian, before stepping somewhat apprehensively into the ring with Kane as the bell rings.

Kane vs. Steven Richards

Steven tentatively approaches Kane, sizing him up, whilst the big man simply stares down at his opponent with a sick gleam in his eyes. Richards throws a punch, which Kane blocks before sending him flying across the ring with a throat thrust. The Big Red Monster follows up with some more hard strikes, each one knocking Richards off of his feet, and a big boot to send him down to the mat, followed with a leg drop and a choke. Steven rolls to the outside, hurting, and regroups for a moment, before Kane steps over the ropes to the outside, grabbing him as if to throw him into the steps. Richards somehow counters, however, tossing Kane hard into the ring steps and slamming his head against them! The two men head back to the ring now, where Kane takes control again, but cannot seem to keep the upper hand. He nails numerous big power moves against the smaller man, but cannot put him away or even keep himself on the up-and-up as Richards uses his quickness and technical superiority to hack away at Kane as the match wears on like a lumberjack targeting a tall tree - going for the base, the legs. After a shin breaker and a figure-4 leglock, Kane is a little unsteady on his legs, and it shows during a stalling suplex attempt as his legs seem to buckle and he drops Steven hard onto his head. Amazingly, that only gets a 2-count, and Richards is up a few moments later, exchanging right hands. On commentary, Christian is stunned that Steven has last so long, even as Richards blasts the Big Red Monster with a desperation Stevie Kick! Richards follows up with the Stevie-T, and makes the cover… but at 2 he is pulled to the outside by Christian! Captain Charisma, furious that his plan has failed somewhat, smashes Steven into the ring steps and even gives him an Unprettier on the outside as Kane distracts the official, before tossing his helpless rival into the ring, where he is easy prey for the Chokeslam and the pinfall at 9:08! ***

After the bell rings, Christian rolls into the ring, hauling Steven back to his feet and giving him another Unprettier, before calling to Kane. The Big Red Monster holds Richards up as Christian takes a few steps back, poses mockingly to the crowd and Victoria, and levels him with a Stevie Kick! Christian exits the ring, laughing, while Kane fires off his pyro from the turnbuckles and makes his way backstage alone, leaving Steven Richards unconscious on the mat as we take a break.

(Match Quality 76%, Crowd Reaction 75%, Overall Rating 75%)

---Commercial Break---

Jim Ross: We’re back, and folks I can hardly believe what we saw just before the commercials - Steven Richards, put in an impossible situation by that damned CLB, Christian, just decimated and destroyed by Kane and the so-called ‘man of the Peeps.’

Jerry Lawler: Oh Jim… Jim, Jim, Jim… when will you realise this is the game these men play? Steven knew what he was getting into when he came down to the ring, and he gave a good showing, we all said it!

Jim Ross: How can you excuse such blatant cheating and unnecessary violence?

Jerry Lawler: Christian’s doing what needs to be done, simple.

Jim Ross: You know what? It’s not even worth discussing it with you. Up now, though, we’ve got Rhyno and Tajiri meeting the team of Muhammed Hussan and Khosrow Daivari!

-- TAG TEAM BONANZA!

Tajiri’s music plays now, and the Buzzsaw heads out onto the stage to a great reaction from the fans, alongside his tag team partner. The two men walk down to the ring, Tajiri pausing at times to play to the crowd and high-five, whilst Rhyno simply stalks his way down the ramp and into the ring, determined to achieve victory here. As the two men warm up, Muhammed Hussan’s music hits, and the controversial Arab-American heads down to the ring with his fighting manager, Khosrow Daivari, who is also in wrestling gear. The two men enter the ring, and immediately set upon their opponents.

Rhyno and Tajiri vs. Muhammed Hussan/Khosrow Daivari

The Arabs beat their opponents back to start, with Daivari quickly bundling Tajiri to the outside and the duo then forcing Rhyno into the corner and hammering away at him with stomps and kicks. Daivari eventually exits the ring, leaving Hussan in control of the Man Beast, using his technical and brawling style to wear down the much bigger man. The Arabs use continual tags and underhanded tactics to their advantage in the early stages, keeping Rhyno away from his partner and carving out a hold on the match. Eventually, however, Rhyno’s size and power advantage comes into play, as he powers out of a Daivari sleeper hold and beheads him with a clothesline, before tossing him across the ring with a t-bone suplex and a back suplex, tagging in Tajiri. The Buzzsaw exerts some control over Daivari now, using his quick kicks and unorthodox aerial maneuvers, as well as his clear speed advantage, to dominate the fighting manager and keep him away from Hussan, clearly the more schooled member of the duo. After a big karate kick, Tajiri lines up for the Buzzsaw Kick, but telegraphs it and loses balance, allowing Daivari to tag Hussan into the match. The Arab-American dominates Tajiri now with some crisp technical holds and some powerful maneuvers, before eventually latching on the Camel Clutch, pulling back on the Buzzsaw’s head and leaving him yelling in pain. Tajiri does not submit, however, and Hussan becomes bored of waiting, instead releasing the hold and setting Tajiri up for a powerbomb. Somehow, however, Tajiri counters into a modified rocker-dropper, leaving both men down on the mat, crawling to their partners. They make the tag, Rhyno in a moment after Daivari, and the Man Beast dominates the manager with a rib-breaker and a fall away slam, hurling him across the ring. With Hussan still reeling from Tajiri’s innovation, the coast is clear for Rhyno to hit the Gore for the 1-2-3 at 9:37! ***

Rhyno and Tajiri celebrate their victory after the match, with their arms raised. Rhyno, especially, seems happy that the team have now broken their duck and are on the winning trail once more. As they celebrate, however, Muhammed Hussan comes at them from behind with a steel chair! The Arab-American floors Tajiri with a shot from behind, and catches Rhyno across the face as he turns around! With both men down, Hussan stomps away at them for a few moments, before grabbing a dazed Khosrow Daivari and pulling him out of the ring, heading backstage as quickly as possible.

(Match Quality 79%, Crowd Reaction 67%, Overall Rating 73%)

Jim Ross: Look at those two, hitting and running like a couple of cowards!

Jerry Lawler: It’s not often I agree with you, JR, but on this one we’re on the same page! These boys show up, insult our country, and then run with their tails between their legs - they make me sick!

Jim Ross: Wait a moment, King, I’m getting something through my headset… we’re heading to the back, folks!

-- CHALLENGE EXTENDED, SUNSHINE

Indeed we are, as the view switches to the interview area, where interviewer Todd Grisham is standing with a tired, angry-looking William Regal, who is sporting a swollen cheek after Rob Conway’s interference in his match earlier tonight, and is flexing his hands as if they are in pain following Shelton Benjamin’s work on them over the course of that match…

Todd Grisham: Uh, we’re here with William Regal, who has something to say to Rob Conway in relation to his earlier assault. Mr. Regal?

William Regal: You’re bloody right I’ve got something to say. Conway, in my country we’ve got a lot of respect for the French nation, and the French people, we do. I myself have visited France on numerous occasions and I’ve been nothing but thrilled with the people there… but you, sunshine, are the obvious exception to the rule, and you’re really beginning to try my patience!

Regal’s exclamation gets a few cheers from the fans, which can be heard echoing through the backstage corridors…

William Regal: So, I got to wondering just how I could go about rectifying that little problem… the solution I’ve come to, sunshine, is to challenge you and your tag team partner to a match at Retaliation for the Tag Team titles!

Todd Grisham: But, uh, you don’t have a partner.

William Regal: I know that, you half-wit, I was getting onto that. I’ve managed to find a man that is very much partner material, and he’d be most obliged to team up with me. Now, I know the idea of a mystery opponent might seem a little clandestine for you both to accept, so I’ve arranged a little sweetener, shall we say? If you toe-rags defeat me and my partner, I will never challenge you again for the Tag Team titles!

Todd Grisham: So it’s all or nothing?

William Regal: A prudent observation. It’s all or nothing, as my friend here so eloquently stated, boys… think it over.

Regal stares into the camera for a moment, an intense and determined look in his eyes, and then walks away, leaving Grisham standing alone in the interview area as we take another break.

(Segment quality 79%)

---Commercial Break---

-- A HORSEMEN REUNION, WITH ADDED BLOOD!

“Evolution is a mystery, all that change that no-one sees!”

Evolution’s music is booming throughout the arena as we return from the break, and the Nature Boy, Ric Flair, is stepping out onto the stage in a black and gold robe, getting his usual mixed reaction from the crowd in light of his recent dastardliness and his legendary accomplishments. As Flair steps into the ring, his music is replaced by Chris Benoit’s, and the Rabid Wolverine storms out from behind the curtain, getting a thunderous reaction from the Penn State faithful. His eyes fixed on Flair, Benoit races down the ramp and into the ring, so fast that Howard Finkel cannot even finish his introduction before the bell rings.

Ric Flair vs. Chris Benoit

Benoit quickly forces Flair into the ropes, even as the bell is echoing around the arena, and starts chopping away at his chest fiercely, much to the love of the crowd, clearly looking for retribution after last week’s events. This aggression keeps on coming with more chops and a fiery clothesline, but eventually works against the Wolverine as Flair manages to duck a wild right hand and catch him with a sleeper hold to cut off his momentum. The two men start to feel each other out now, working each other over indiscriminately and trying to find a weak spot to attack. Eventually, the Nature Boy begins to go after Benoit’s lower back and stomach, whilst Benoit goes after Flair’s legs. Naitch takes the upper hand quickly with a backdrop and some stomps, as well as a few suspect kidney punches. After one such punch, Flair removes the padding from one of the turnbuckles, and whips Benoit into it, slamming his back against the exposed steel and causing him to roll to the outside. Flair attempts a baseball slide, but the Wolverine somehow dodges and drags him to the outside, feet-first, applying a Boston crab! Benoit keeps up this pressure now, sending Flair back inside and going after his legs, to the point where the Nature Boy is having trouble finding his footing. Flair attempts a desperation German suplex on Benoit, but the force of the suplex causes him to fall to his knees, giving Benoit an opening to latch on a sharpshooter! Naitch is all locked up with nowhere to go, and taps out… but there is no bell! Benoit looks up, to see the referee out on the mat and a steel chair flying towards him, wielded by Chris Jericho! Y2J’s shot connects, and Benoit slumps back to the mat. As another official races down to the ring, Flair rolls on top of him for the 1-2-3 at 9:27! **¾

As the bell rings, Jericho sets upon Benoit again with some fierce stomps, before Flair gets to his feet a and starts questioning him. Jericho yells back that he just handed Naitch the match, to which Flair takes exception, prompting Y2J to knock him down with a furious haymaker! Y2J starts punching away at Flair now, but is suddenly caught from behind by a chairshot from Chris Benoit! The Rabid Wolverine tosses him to the outside, and then follows suit with Flair, leaving both men backtracking up the ramp as he stands tall in the ring and we head backstage.

(Match Quality 71%, Crowd Reaction 91%, Overall Rating 84%)

-- AN APTLY-NAMED ENCOUNTER

Edge: So Shawn Michaels is back tonight. Big deal. Have you seen him?

The scene fades in after the sound, and we find Edge standing alone in a white corridor, in his ring attire, seemingly on the way to the ring for his match with Batista…

Edge: The fact is, the Heartbreak Kid isn’t anywhere to be found… now why could that be? To preserve the suspense, to make sure that the people are ready to burst by the time he finally heads out to greet them? The time-honoured HBK tradition, always leave the people wanting more, that has to be it, right?

Edge pauses, shaking his head, and suddenly yells out loud, his words echoing in the empty corridor…

Edge: WRONG! You people are still hemmed in to the way they want you to think, don’t you see? Shawn Michaels is waiting in the wings by the stage, flexing his ageing muscles, waiting for a chance to screw me over! He’s a venomous little snake, and nothing would give him greater glee in his black heart than to see me defeated tonight, and my quest for the World’s Heavyweight title, my unavoidable destiny, set back by weeks, maybe even months! And, in the meantime, Shawn and his best friend Triple H get to swap that belt around their little posse, keeping the true talent, the DESTINED CHAMPION, from the prize… go ahead, Michaels, go ahead and screw me tonight. This weekend at Retaliation, I’ll punish you for it and for every sin you’ve committed, for every sin you’re plotting in that twisted, pseudo-religious head of yours. It’s an aptly-named event, Shawn, because for every time you wrong me - I… will… RETALIATE!

With that, Edge stares the camera down with malice for a few moments, before turning on his heel and walking off towards the stage, as we go to a commercial.

(Segment quality 91%)

---Commercial Break---

Jim Ross: We’re back, and we’re just a few moments away from Edge vs. Batista!

Jerry Lawler: I hope Shawn Michaels has the sense to keep out of this one, JR!

Jim Ross: I’m sure he wouldn’t interfere, King.

Jerry Lawler: You heard what Edge said! Michaels is a conspirator, you can’t trust anything he does! He’s out to stop Edge from achieving what we all know he can!

Jim Ross: I’ve got no doubt in Edge’s abilities, King, but I take exception to his half-baked conspiracy stories, it’s getting a little old. Between him and Chris Jericho, it’s like watching Magnum P.I. repeats!

Jerry Lawler: Are you in on it, JR? That would explain a lot, wouldn’t it? Like why you get a better rental car than me, why you stay in the biggest hotel suite, why you seem to shift so much of that barbecue sauce despite it tasting like cardboard! Admit it!

Jim Ross:

Jerry Lawler: Aha! A silence is as good as a confession, JR!

-- ROUND TWO

“You think you know me?”

Before King can call the CIA, however, Edge’s music begins over the speakers, and the mist rises over the stage. Moments later, the Toronto native walks out through the mist onto the ramp, ignoring the hail of boos and abuse that the Penn State faithful are greeting him with. He strolls down to the ring, takes off his trench coat, and awaits his opponent. Batista’s music replaces his now, and the boos turn to cheers in an instant as the three hundred-plus pounder walks out onto the stage, arms raised in salute to the crowd, and races down the ramp to the ring, eager to get this one over with.

Edge vs. Batista

Edge tries to escape the ring as he sees Batista barrelling down the ramp, but the big man is too fast and catches him by the seat of his tights, dragging him into the centre of the ring and flooring him with a stiff clothesline. Edge gets back to his feet and starts unloading right hands at Batista, trying to knock him down, but Batista simply seems to take each punch in his stride, eventually firing back with a haymaker that sends Edge stumbling into the ropes, where the behemoth fires off another clothesline, knocking him to the outside. When Edge returns to the ring, however, after a brief moment’s respite, he seems to have regrouped and is far more on target, dodging Batista’s powerful-yet-cumbersome offense and keeping one step ahead with his agility and technical superiority, knocking the big man down with a dropkick pulled from nowhere and applying a body scissor, working on the ribs and stomach to squeeze the fight out of his opponent. This tactic seems to work as the bout wears on, with Batista’s powerful offense becoming increasingly more isolated and less hard-hitting, to the point where Edge can even roll to his feet directly after a usually-devastating body slam. Edge looks to finish things off, taking a run-up for the Spear, but the big man somehow dodges, and catches him with a desperation tilt-a-whirl slam! The behemoth somehow fires off a combo of clotheslines to follow up, leaving Edge on the floor, rolling to the outside. Frustrated at Batista’s comeback, he grabs the timekeeper’s chair, brandishing it high and heading back into the ring. The two men start to struggle over the chair, and Edge eventually wrestles control of it, but is stopped from doing anything with it as a figure appears as if from nowhere on the apron, grabbing the chair as the Canadian winds up - it’s Shawn Michaels! The crowd goes wild as HBK pulls the chair away from Edge, forcing him off balance enough for Batista to hit a brutal clothesline for the 1-2-3 at 10:30! ***

Edge rolls to the outside after the match, pounding the floor and cursing, before rising to his feet with a rabid expression on his face and fixing his eyes on Shawn Michaels, who has already made his way halfway up the ramp. Yelling and screaming, on the verge of tears, that he has been screwed, Edge heads to the back, leaving Batista alone in the ring. As the behemoth celebrates, however, a figure jumps into the ring out of the crowd, and smashes him over the back of the head with a championship belt - it’s Triple H! The Game, wearing a sleek black suit, starts to hammer away at Batista with kicks and stomps, stamping him into the mat, and finishing the assault with another hard belt shot, busting his Retaliation opponent wide open and leaving him down on the mat. The World Heavyweight champion poses, much to the chagrin of the crowd, over his fallen foe.

(Match Quality 77%, Crowd Reaction 87%, Overall Rating 83%)

Jim Ross: What the Hell is wrong with this man? This is the way our champion conducts himself?

Jerry Lawler: He’s evening the odds! Edge said he’d be screwed, and he was screwed! Triple H is just watching out for another talented competitor!

Jim Ross: Uh, they don’t like each other, King.

Jerry Lawler: In time, JR, in time. I just can’t get over that Shawn Michaels, showing up just to cost Edge a match and running off before he could get his come-uppance!

Jim Ross: …I’m not even going to bother, you know that? We’ll take a break now, folks, but after that we’ve got the main event - Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton, it’s next!

---Commercial Break---

-- KILL THIS, JACKASS!

“Hey! Nothing you can say can change what you’ve done to me!”

Randy Orton’s music greets us on our return from the commercials, and the fans are screaming their lungs out for the Legend Killer as he strolls onto the ramp, pirouettes around for photographs, and heads on down to the ring, high-fiving fans on his way down. Stepping into the ring, Orton flexes and poses again, grinning from ear-to-ear, awaiting his opponent.

“C’mon, you know I’ve got you, yeah… BREAK THE WALLS DOWN!”

Chris Jericho’s music replaces Orton’s, now, and the Ayatollah of Rock’n’Rollah struts out onto the stage, staring daggers at Orton following the end to last week’s show, and wastes little time in heading down to the ring, wasting no time with his usual formalities, sliding into the squared circle to begin the main event.

Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton

Jericho offers a lock-up with Orton to start, and quickly turns it into a test of strength, dropping back into the ropes and springboarding up and over him, dropping him to the mat. From there, Y2J pulls Orton back to his feet and applies a wristlock, cinching it in and moving around the ring. The two men begin to feel each other out now, trading the wristlock back and forth with some impressive athletic counters, but neither man is able to take a clear advantage. Eventually, Jericho releases a the hold, takes a step back, and dropkicks Orton down, following up with a brutal kick to the back of the head to keep him down. Quickly breaking with the feeling-out stage, Jericho begins to take control of his opponent now, dominating him with some fierce kicks and strikes to the head, weakening up his equilibrium, before whipping him off of the ropes and catching a neckbreaker on the way back. Randy gets back to his feet, but takes some vicious chops and staggers into the corner, where Jericho follows up with a running clothesline and a bulldog for 2. Y2J dominates the Legend Killer in the next few minutes, dropping him on his head with some big, inverted and spiked maneuvers, including a spiked powerbomb and a brutal inverted DDT, which sends Orton rolling to the outside. Jericho follows him out with an attempted asai moonsault, but Randy somehow catches him for a pumphandle slam onto the hard outer floor! Y2J screams out loud as Orton stomps at his back and forces him into the crowd barrier, and the match is in danger of degenerating into a Pier 6 brawl as we take a commercial break.

---Commercial Break---

As we return, Randy Orton is tossing Chris Jericho back over the crowd partition, following some crowd brawling, covered in soda and beer. Y2J gets to his feet, wiping his eyes clear, and takes a dropkick from the barrier, before being shovelled back into the ring by Orton. The Legend Killer is clearly in control now, going after Jericho’s head and neck with some hard-hitting clotheslines and a series of German suplexes, as well as a beautiful scissor sleeper hold. Jericho attempts to fight his way out of the hold, but the leg-scissor has him tightly gripped, and eventually it looks as if he will submit. Inexplicably, however, Orton releases the hold, tapping his head as if he has some master plan or other. Indeed, he motions for the RKO as Jericho stands, but Y2J sees it coming and drops back into the ropes with Orton, bouncing off of them and flying back with a forearm to the face. Angered now, Jericho begins raining stomps down on his opponent, yelling so loud that we can clearly hear him without a microphone…

“You’re a Legend Killer, huh? Kill this, jackass!”

With those words, Jericho boots Orton hard in the face, busting him open at the nose. Furiously stomping away now, Jericho almost wears himself out, and takes a moment’s respite. As he does so, Randy starts to make his way to his feet, but Jericho sees it coming and floors him with a brutal lowblow. Heading to the outside now, he grabs the ring bell from the timekeeper, taking it into the ring. The referee tries to reason with him, but takes a stiff right hand for his trouble, sending him down. Jericho winds up with the bell now, cleaning Randy’s clock with it and leaving him slumped on the mat, but as he turns around he is dragged down to the mat - Chris Benoit, Crippler Crossface on Jericho! Jericho yells and screams, writhing in the hold, tapping out furiously, and eventually Benoit releases him. Y2J rolls to his feet, rabid at Benoit, but takes his eye off of the ball and allows a groggy Orton the opportunity to hit the RKO for the pinfall at 25:09! ****¼

The bell doesn’t ring after the match, as it is in the ring, but Orton’s music plays as Benoit helps him back up. Blood is streaming from Orton’s nose and a gash on his head, and he looks to be having trouble standing, but nevertheless he raises his arm in victory, to the cheers and chants of the Penn State faithful.

(Match Quality 92%, Crowd Reaction 93%, Overall Rating 92%)

(Randy Orton gained 1 point of overness from this match)

Jim Ross: My God, King - Randy Orton gave it his all, he gave blood and tears, and he’s beaten Chris Jericho in this fantastic main event!

Jerry Lawler: He cheated! He cheated Chris Jericho out of the victory!

Jim Ross: Jericho did just as much, and worse, King, he got his due!

Jerry Lawler: How can you say that? Chris Benoit screwed him, again! Chris Jericho keeps getting screwed!

Jim Ross: Please, you’re starting to sound like him. We’re out of time, folks, I’ve been JR and he’s the King, we’ll see you this Saturday night for Retaliation!

Overall Card Rating - 83%

-- This one took ages to write, I've had a busy week. I apologise. Hope it was worth the wait. Enjoy!

Raven's Kid

-_-

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WWE RETALIATION live on Pay-Per-View from Springfield, MA

26th February, 2005

Pay-Per-View Match Listing

World Heavyweight title match

Triple H © vs. Batista

Chris Jericho and Edge vs. Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels

WWE Intercontinental title match

10-Man Battle Royal

Shelton Benjamin ©, Al Snow, Garrison Cade, Gene Snitzky, Mark Henry, Maven, Rhyno, Rosey, Simon Dean, Val Venis

Rhyno and Tajiri vs. Muhammed Hussan/Khosrow Daivari

World Tag Team title match

La Resistance © vs. William Regal and Mystery Partner

Grudge Match

Christian vs. Steven Richards

-- Credit: WWE.com

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Guest LilJoeyPez

World Heavyweight title match

Triple H © vs. Batista

Chris Jericho and Edge vs. Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels

WWE Intercontinental title match

10-Man Battle Royal

Shelton Benjamin ©, Al Snow, Garrison Cade, Gene Snitzky, Mark Henry, Maven, Rhyno, Rosey, Simon Dean, Val Venis

Rhyno and Tajiri vs. Muhammed Hussan/Khosrow Daivari

World Tag Team title match

La Resistance © vs. William Regal and Mystery Partner

Grudge Match

Christian vs. Steven Richards

Who will be William Regal's mystery tag team partner? Paul Burchill

Edited by LilJoeyPez
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World Heavyweight title match

Triple H © vs. Batista

Chris Jericho and Edge vs. Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels

WWE Intercontinental title match

10-Man Battle Royal

Shelton Benjamin ©, Al Snow, Garrison Cade, Gene Snitzky, Mark Henry, Maven, Rhyno, Rosey, Simon Dean, Val Venis

Rhyno and Tajiri vs. Muhammed Hussan/Khosrow Daivari

World Tag Team title match

La Resistance © vs. William Regal and Mystery Partner

Grudge Match

Christian vs. Steven Richards

Who will be William Regal's mystery tag team partner? Adam Windsor

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World Heavyweight title match

Triple H © vs. Batista

Chris Jericho and Edge vs. Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels

WWE Intercontinental title match

10-Man Battle Royal

Shelton Benjamin ©, Al Snow, Garrison Cade, Gene Snitsky, Mark Henry, Maven, Rhyno, Rosey, Simon Dean, Val Venis

Rhyno and Tajiri vs. Muhammed Hussan/Khosrow Daivari

World Tag Team title match

La Resistance © vs. William Regal and Mystery Partner

Grudge Match

Christian vs. Steven Richards

Who will William Regal's mystery partner be? - Paul Birchall

I've gotta say this is a good one indeed, and i just don't get how you receive literally any feedback, everybody should read this. I enjoy this alot, so keep up the good work :thumbsup:

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest HardKore06

World Heavyweight title match

Triple H © vs. Batista

Chris Jericho and Edge vs. Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels

WWE Intercontinental title match

10-Man Battle Royal

Shelton Benjamin ©, Al Snow, Garrison Cade, Gene Snitzky, Mark Henry, Maven, Rhyno, Rosey, Simon Dean, Val Venis

Rhyno and Tajiri vs. Muhammed Hussan/Khosrow Daivari

World Tag Team title match

La Resistance © vs. William Regal and Mystery Partner

Grudge Match

Christian vs. Steven Richards

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  • 7 months later...
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